I’m going to start leading into each of these posts with links to other blogs, posts, or articles, that are relevant.
I can’t believe there’s still so much of this chapter let. Right away we start with James showing how she doesn’t understand the legal system. Grey gets back Jose’s unauthorized background check. It shows a ticket for pot-possession. When you get a ticket, you have the option to pay it and not go to court, or to go to court. Believe me on this. I have one in my possession (not for pot, which is now legal in this state). Before legalization, pot was a citation and a court date. Criminal court date.
And the little prick smokes weed? I hope he doesn’t smoke around Ana—and I hope she doesn’t smoke, period.
Who the hell cares. Pot mellows a person out. Grey could use a joint of two. And he can shut up about Ana smoking. Seriously. She’s an adult, and she can choose for herself. It’s not like crack or heroin are in this discussion.
I’m not sure where Grey is. In the last section, he and Elliot were in the car heading out, and at the end of this chapter, Elliot knocks on the door, ready to go hiking, and Grey thinks,
Ah…the child has woken from his nap.
Condescension aside, this indicates Elliot was sleeping somewhere other than the car Where are they? Did they arrive somewhere, and Grey carried him inside? I’m so confused. I’m going to guess they went back to the hotel.
They go for a run, and the scene sounds like a forest.
THE SCENT OF PINE, fresh damp earth, and late spring is a balm to my senses. The smell reminds me of those heady days of my childhood, running through a forest with Elliot and my sister Mia under the watchful eyes of our adoptive parents. The quiet, the space, the freedom…the scrunch of dry pine needles underfoot.
This doesn’t describe the waterfront. (James has grey call it “the Willamette,” but we locals don’t call it by name, again because there’s just the one river, and we all know which river is meant! And we call it the waterfront.)
This is the river. What do you not see?
That’s right, pine trees. And anywhere quiet. Don’t get me wrong. There are beautiful areas, like this (which is near downtown):
But it’s nothing like the scene described. And it’s nothing like what comes next.
Elliot chatters away, needing only the occasional grunt from me to keep talking. As we make our way along the pebbled shore of the Willamette my mind strays to Anastasia. For the first time in a long time, I have a sweet sense of anticipation. I’m excited.
Will she say yes to my proposal?
I picture her sleeping beside me, soft and small…and my cock twitches with expectation. I could have woken her and fucked her then—what a novelty that would have been.
I’ll fuck her in time.
I’ll fuck her bound and with her smart mouth gagged.
Yeah, forget the pebbles, and the lack of them. What the hell? Even with his brother talking, he gets horny, and that “I’ll fuck her in time” sounds a lot like he’s willing to rape, especially since he’s thinking about what a thrill it would have been to “fuck her away” in his room that morning…where she didn’t consent to go!!
My GOD. This isn’t a romance. It’s a prison diary, a look inside the mind of a rapist.
And a jump again. I don’t know what the point was of that entire section of him and Elliot running. Perhaps to show one of the times he thought about literal rape in the most literally literal sense?
He’s now outside of Ana’s work, drumming his fingers on his thigh, telling us how he’s not a patient man, and she’s five minutes late since the store closed five minutes earlier. Correction, Grey: The store closed five minutes ago, and she’s doing closing stuff. Someone has to do it. They’re called employees. Like Ana.
She gets in the car, and he’s exasperated that she’s wearing jeans again. How dare she not wear a skirt to a hardware store to make sure he has access…. Even though he wants nothing more than a sexual fling with her, he grabs her hand and stroked it in a manner that is meant to woo her. This is called being a tease, and it’s not cute.
I’m not going to bother going over a bunch of unnecessary details about the flight going north. It’s James trying to show off her learnings. I know jack about flying helicopters, so she may be blowing wind for all I know. Yet there was no research into sunset around here, and when it gets dark. By 8pm, it is NOT dark here. In May, it’s light until past 9pm. Here is a photo I took last month, on May 24th, at, according to my phone info, 8:44pm.
Nothing of importance happens for the next few pages, aside from drawn out descriptions of how he can’t take his eyes off of Ana even though he should be watching what he’s doing. The reach Seattle, and Grey lands on a helipad.
Are you ready for another round of James Didn’t Do the Research?
Under city law, helistops are permitted only for helicopters that “serve a public safety, news gathering or emergency medical care function,” and only under conditional use permits granted by the Seattle City Council.
The current Seattle helistops are for three news organizations relatively close to the Seattle Center, Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital, said Diane Sugimura, director of the Seattle Department of Planning and Development.
There’s no chance, NONE, that Grey could legally land his helicopter in Seattle. And no, it won’t cut it to say he passes bribes. Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, can’t land there. Neither can Grey. But they land anyway.
Can I do this with her?
She’s an adult.
She can make her own decisions.
And I want her to look at me this way once she knows me…knows what I’m capable of. “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You know that, don’t you?” She needs to understand this. I want her submission, but more than that I want her consent.
Nope. Nope, nope, nope. He doesn’t care about consent. He wants to railroad her, and was tempted to rape her. And no, making a decision doesn’t count when it’s made under duress. Consent doesn’t count when someone’s making it out of fear or because they are scared they’ll be hurt. Grey’s already told us, “I’ll fuck her in time.” He’s not going to take no for an answer.
Clearly this is James’s way of trying to give non-fans the middle finger. It doesn’t make things better.
They go into his apartment, and Ana is clutching her coat around her like she’s scared. She should be. She should be terrified and running.
Despite knowing that the night before is her first night drinking, and without knowing how much it took to get her so drunk, or maybe not caring, Grey gets some wine. His plan to try to obtain what he’ll try to justify as consent involves alcohol.
Getting a woman tipsy to try getting sex is rape.
You’re very quiet, and you’re not even blushing. In fact, I think this is the palest I’ve ever seen you, Anastasia. Are you hungry?”
She shakes her head and takes another sip. Maybe she’s in need of some liquid courage, too.
Scared young woman, who is drinking in fear, and he acknowledges this.
After she’s had some alcohol, he gets the nondisclosure agreement, which isn’t even legally binding. You have the right to disclose who you have sex with, as long as it’s truthful.
“It means you cannot disclose anything about us. Anything, to anyone.”
She searches my face and I don’t know if she’s confused or displeased.
This could go either way.
“Okay. I’ll sign,” she says.
Well, that was easy. I hand her my Mont Blanc and she places the pen at the signature line.
Signature obtained from a woman getting inebriated just to talk, who he witnessed didn’t read it. He doesn’t even have plausible deniability. If she took it home and signed without reading, he wouldn’t know. Here, he knows.
And before I can begin my pitch, she asks, “Does this mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?”
Oh, Grey, let’s disabuse her of this straightaway. “No, Anastasia, it doesn’t. First, I don’t make love. I fuck, hard.
They’re so far from being on the same page that they’re not even in the same book.
“Second, there’s a lot more paperwork to do. And third, you don’t yet know what you’re in for. You could still run from here screaming! Come, I want to show you my playroom.”
She’s nonplussed, the little v forming between her brows. “You want to play on your Xbox?”
That was played for laughs in the movie previews, but it’s played straight here. This young woman is that innocent that she thinks that he wants to play an XBox before having sex.
I know it’s because she knows nothing about the lifestyle.
I open the door and follow her into my playroom.
My safe place.
The only place where I’m truly myself.
Ana stands in the middle of the room, studying all the paraphernalia that is so much a part of my life: the floggers, the canes, the bed, the bench…She’s silent, drinking it in, and all I hear is the deafening pounding of my heart as the blood rushes past my eardrums.
Now you know.
Paragraph-abuse is a bad way to pad a book. Also, no. Opening the door doesn’t mean she knows about the lifestyle. You can see one of these:
But that doesn’t mean you know about it, any more than Ana knows about what Christian wants. That is called a humbler, and here is a picture of how it’s used. I’m trusting my readers to not need to be told that a link demonstrating how to use a BDSM object isn’t going to be safe for work.
“You’re a sadist?” she says, startling me.
Fuck. She sees me.
“I’m a Dominant,” I say quickly, hoping to move the conversation on.
“What does that mean?” she inquires, shocked, I think.
“It means I want you to willingly surrender yourself to me, in all things.”
“Why would I do that?”
“To please me,” I whisper. This is what I need from you. “In very simple terms, I want you to want to please me.”
She certainly starts off right. And he admits, at least to us, that she wis right.
“So you’ll get your kicks by exerting your will over me.”
Spot on, Miss Steele.
“It’s about gaining your trust and your respect, so you’ll let me exert my will over you.” I need your permission, baby. “I will gain a great deal of pleasure, joy even, in your submission. The more you submit, the greater my joy—it’s a very simple equation.”
“Okay, and what do I get out of this?”
“Me.” I shrug. That’s it, baby. Just me. All of me. And you’ll find pleasure, too…
There we go. It’s all about him. Pleasure for her is a byproduct. She’s an object for his sexual gratification. His attempts at wooing her were just because she’s a toy he wants.
Ana’s overwhelmed, so overwhelmed she loses her appetite.
“I’m really not hungry,” she whispers.
“You will eat.”
The look she gives me is defiant.
“Would you like another glass of wine?” I ask, as a peace offering.
I pour wine into her glass and sit down beside her. “Help yourself to food, Anastasia.”
A peace offering for a woman who is scared isn’t to give her more wine and get her drunker. Seriously, Grey, don’t you dare expect us to believe you’re about consent, or that she’s in any condition to give it. She’s three hours from home, and her only way to get there is you. You’ve getting her drunk. You know she’s overwhelmed and in way over her head.
“Will you hurt me?”
“What do you mean?”
“Physically, will you hurt me?”
Only what you can take.
“I will punish you when you require it, and it will be painful.”
For example, when you get drunk and put yourself at risk.
Like now? She’s backed into a corner. She’s a captive to this. Again, she has no way home, and she’s inebriated. And no, he won’t stop. The first book ended with her leaving in tears because he did far, far, FAR more than she could take.
“This is it, shit-or-bust time. I know my limits by heart, and mentally tick off the list as I watch her read through. Her face grows paler and paler as she nears the end.
Fuck, I hope this isn’t frightening her off.
I want her. I want her submission…badly. She swallows, glancing nervously up at me. How can I persuade her to give this a try? I should reassure her, show her that I’m capable of caring.
“Is there anything you’d like to add?”
Deep down I hope she won’t add anything. I want carte blanche with her. She stares at me, still at a loss for words. It’s irritating. I’m not used to waiting for answers. “Is there anything you won’t do?” I prompt.
“I don’t know.”
Not the response I was expecting.
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
She shifts in her seat, looking uncomfortable, her teeth toying with her bottom lip. Again. “I’ve never done anything like this.”
How dense can he be? No, not dense. Uncaring. He’s admitted to us that she’s innocent and doesn’t know anything. So how could she know what she’s not willing to do? She’s asking questions like if he’ll hurt her because she doesn’t know. HE KNOWS she’s entirely ignorant HE KNOWS she’s a virgin. We’re almost at that point. I’m curious to see how James has hi justify pretending to be shocked when she tells him point-blank.
“Well, when you’ve had sex, was there anything that you didn’t like doing?” And I’m reminded of the photographer fumbling all over her yesterday.
“Well, I’ve not had sex before, so I don’t know,” she whispers.
The earth stops spinning.
I don’t fucking believe it.
“Never?” I’m incredulous.
She shakes her head, eyes wide.
“You’re a virgin?” I don’t believe it.
She nods, embarrassed. I close my eyes. I can’t look at her.
How the hell did I get this so wrong?
Anger lances through me. What can I do with a virgin? I glare at her as fury surges through my body.
“Why the fuck didn’t you tell me?” I growl, and start pacing my study. What do I want with a virgin? She shrugs apologetically, at a loss for words.
“I don’t understand why you didn’t tell me.” The exasperation is clear in my voice.
“The subject never came up,” she says. “I’m not in the habit of revealing my sexual status to everyone I meet. I mean, we hardly know each other.”
As ever, it’s a fair point. I can’t believe I’ve given her the bus tour of my playroom—thank heavens for the NDA.
“Well, you know a lot more about me now,” I snarl. “I knew you were inexperienced, but a virgin! Hell, Ana, I just showed you…”
Not only the playroom: my rules, hard limits. She knows nothing. How could I do this?
“May God forgive me,” I mutter under my breath. I’m at a loss.
A startling thought occurs to me—our one kiss in the elevator, where I could have fucked her there and then—was that her first kiss?”
“Have you ever been kissed, apart from by me?” Please say yes.
“Of course I have.” She looks offended. Yeah, she’s been kissed, but not often. And for some reason the thought is…pleasing.”
Oh. That’s how. He has had every indication she’s a virgin. She can’t even say the word “sex,” and he just plain knows. I can’t figure out why he’s really so mad when he should have known. Let’s just chalk this one up to him being in denial, I suppose, since it’s so obvious he wants someone experienced. Except…no. That can’t be it either He’s fantasized about training her when he’s thought about her innocence. He’s been turned on by her innocence. So this doesn’t make sense.
He’s also angry at her, and you know as well as I do that Ana’s aware of his anger. She is in her first book. She’s inebriated, captive, and with a man who is livid that she’s confirmed her virginity.
She really knows nothing. How could she ever be a submissive if she has no idea about sex? This is not going to fly…and all the groundwork I’ve done has been for nothing. I can’t close this deal.
“Why are you so angry with me?” she whispers.”
Nope, she can’t consent to jack about BSDM. There can be no Safe, Sane, Consent about it when she can’t consent to what she doesn’t understand. However, she does know he’s pissed off.
I’ll leave this entry there. Just think about her situation. He’s given her alcohol on purpose, knows she’s scared, and she’s trapped, and she is overwhelmed, confused, and she knows he’s mad. And, to make it worse, that morning she woke up, nearly naked, in a hotel room, in his bed, where she didn’t consent to be taken. In her situation, how many women would even feel safe saying no?