Tighten your seat belts because we’re at that point in this book. Yes, the part where they have sex the first time with dubious consent, at best, non-consent, at worst.
Ana asks if he’s going to “make love” to her, and he says yes. He needs to get that first time out of the way, to, in his words, “rectify the situation right now.” Because her being a virgin is a major problem to fix… I don’t think “make love” means what Grey thinks. “Make love” implies an emotional connection. He just wants to use Ana.
But those are the words he says to get this tipsy, scared, overwhelmed young woman to walk with him into his bedroom. Like an idiot, rather than reaching right for condoms, he asks if she’s on the pill, and considers condoms to be a back-up for a no. Well good god, Grey, you’re a bigger idiot than I thought.
Deep down I know I should send her home. But the simple truth is, I don’t want her to go, and I want her.
Well, what do you know. He has a flicker of a conscience. We won’t see that often, I’m sure.
“Do you want the blinds drawn?” I ask. “I don’t mind,” she says. “I thought you didn’t let anyone sleep in your bed.” “Who says we’re going to sleep?” “Oh.” Her lips form a perfect small o. My cock hardens further. Yes, I’d like to fuck that mouth, that o. I stalk toward her like she’s my prey. Oh, baby, I want to bury myself in you. Her breathing is shallow and quick. Her cheeks are rosy…she’s wary, but excited. She’s at my mercy, and knowing that makes me feel powerful. She has no idea what I’m going to do to her.
That’s frightening, and ominous. Not only are they still not on the same page, since she apparently thought “make love” meant going to sleep together, but he’s aroused by her outright fear. Again, an adrenaline rush comes with fear, but can also cause excitement, like on a roller coaster. Doesn’t mean she really knows what’s about to happen, considering she thought a playroom meant he wanted to play an XBox, and he said they’d make love, and she thought they were going to sleep and is surprised he means something else. He’s also turned on by how she’s captive.
Now, in the comments here, and in the comments on Jenny Trout’s first chapter recap, there had been some debate over Grey calling Ana by her full name, even though she doesn’t like it. “But Ana’s too close to his birth mother’s name,” some people say, to excuse him blatantly ignoring Ana’s name preference in favor of what he wants to call her, even though he has no problem calling his first sex partner by her first name of Elena, which is closer to Ella. We find out later that, “I like to whip little brown-haired girls like you because you all look like the crack whore—my birth mother.” Oedipus is in the building, folks. If it’s true that Ana is too close to Ella (again, not as close as Elena), I guess that would explain why he calls her “Ana Steele” right now.
“Do you have any idea how much I want you, Ana Steele?”
I suppose that idea could further support how he likes the idea of sex with his mom. I’m going to say it. EWWWW, WTF?
He quickly undresses her by “slowly feeling off her blouse” (doing something quickly by being slow about it–that’s typical of James’s writing), and stands back to stare at her.
“Oh, Ana. You have the most beautiful skin, pale and flawless. I want to kiss every single inch of it.” There’s not a mark on her. The thought is unsettling. I want to see her marked…pink…with tiny, thin welts from a crop maybe.
Most people would see skin that’s not damaged on someone who didn’t consent to it to be a good thing, not unsettling. Between consenting partners, whatever. But Ana is still clueless. She doesn’t know what she’s in for, and she doesn’t know what he’s capable of. He knows she’s captive. She knows she’s captive. He created this power imbalance, and now he wants to hit her. He won’t though. Not yet.
They kiss, and he thinks her fumbling and mistakes in a kiss to be sexy. Who believes he was really bothered she’s a virgin? What an unreliable narrator. You can’t be pissed someone’s a virgin while really being so turned on you and excited about can’t stand it and want her.
She tastes luscious. Wine, grapes, and innocence—a potent, heady mix of flavors.
See? She’s had too much to drink if he can still taste it, even though it’s been a short time since she last drank. He starts trying to arouse her, but I can’t get past how he’s sniffing her crotch and licking her foot after she’s been at work all day.
“Show me how you pleasure yourself,” I ask, gazing intently down at her. She frowns. “Don’t be coy, Ana, show me.” Part of me wants to spank the shyness out of her. She shakes her head. “I don’t know what you mean.” Is she playing games? “How do you make yourself come? I want to see.” She remains mute. Clearly I’ve shocked her again. “I don’t,” she mutters finally, her voice breathless.
That’s how innocent she is, and he wants to whip her and is turned on by the thought. The most believable character trait in this scene, aside from him being evil, is his obsession with his chest not being touched. But since that stems back to when his birth-mother’s pimp burned him with a cigarette a few times when he was a toddler, he really should be past this already. He’s holding on to his past on purpose at this point. There are a few thoughts of “If you’ll let me” sprinkled in, but I’m not falling for this as a sign he’s a good guy. Literally every single one can be removed and absolutely not be missed, like:
“We’re going to have to work on keeping you still, baby.” If you’ll let me. I’ll teach her to just absorb the pleasure and not move, intensifying every touch, every kiss, every nip.
Take that out, and you’d never know something was there. They were just tossed in in random locations instead of integrated into the story. With only about a minute of nipple play, Ana has her first orgasm. And Grey gloats that he owns it. If you want to GIVE someone an orgasm, you don’t get to own it. He thrusts himself into her, and it only takes another minute or two and she’s orgasming again. Pretty impressive for someone whose never so much as touched herself, and highly unlikely.
“You haven’t answered me,” I growl. I need to know if she found that enjoyable. All the evidence points to a “yes”—but I need to hear it from her. While I’m waiting for her reply I remove the condom. Lord, I hate these things. I discard it discreetly on the floor.
Nasty pig. He’s going to leave that for the housekeeper to pick up. They get ready to go at it again, and he grabs another condom. Even though he’s an idiot for only using them if someone admits not being on birth control, at least they’re used at all. In a matter of minutes, she’s close to the edge again, and he orders her to hold off. She lost her virginity perhaps ten minutes ago, has already had two orgasms, and is able to control a third.
“Come for me, baby,” I growl. And on command she shudders around me as her orgasm rips through her and she screams my name into the mattress.
The chances? Laughably infinitesimally small. And then they go to sleep. Seriously. That’s the end of it.
This was duller than the first book, where Ana actually described her first orgasm, in full, as, “Oh my. That was extraordinary. Now I know what all the fuss is about.” Literary masterpiece, I tell you.
Here’s a cookie for you for getting this far. You deserve it.
And here’s a happy place to retreat to. It’s at Silver Falls State Park, about an hour form here. Take your cookie and imaging yourself sitting on one of the stone benches and listening to the water falling into the cool pool below. Happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts now.
-Photo by Josh Whalen
Happy thoughts now, since this book’s about to get a lot worse.