Content warnings for this chapter: sexual assault, a LOT. Plus stalking and general "you might not want to read this while eating" grossness.
I open my eyes, and for a moment, I’m tranquil and serene, enjoying the strange unfamiliar surroundings. I have no idea where I am. [...] Oh shit. I’m in Roll FizzleBeefs suite. How did I get here? [...] I’m wearing my t-shirt, bra, and panties. No socks. No jeans.I think the detail about the underwear is meant to convey that he didn't rape her while she was passed out. The question E.L. James should be asking herself is: why the hell did she write her characters into a situation where it was necessary to establish this?
It's like remembering to duck down when the truck you're highway-surfing on top of goes into a tunnel. Yes, it's the best thing to do at that moment, but you need to ask yourself how you got into this position in the first place.
He comes and sits down on the edge of the bed. He’s close enough for me to touch, for me to smell. Oh my… sweat and body wash and Chunky, it’s a heady cocktail - so much better than a margarita, and now I can speak from experience."I just threw up in my mouth" is sort of a snark cliche, so I've been trying to avoid it, but the idea of a sweat/soap/dude cocktail really did make me a little nauseous.
Ana's excessive pride in having margarita experience is sort of a charming character detail, albeit one I'd expect from a much younger character. I assume this is entirely unintentional and E.L. James just thinks margaritas are exotic.
“We didn’t,” I whisper, my mouth drying in mortified horror as I can’t complete the question. I stare at my hands. “Anastasia, you were comatose. Necrophilia is not my thing. I like my women sentient and receptive,” he says dryly.That's not necrophila. That's rape. And good to know that he didn't rape her because he didn't find it sexy. I'd hate to think he gave a shit about her.
In the hands of a really sharp writer, one who had the chops to work with an unreliable narrator and amoral characters, this could be deliberately shocking. Rip SteakFace's "I didn't rape you because it's hotter when you're awake" could be an unnervingly revealing moment, and when Ana finds it charming, the churning in the reader's stomach could be intentional.
“Firstly, the technology to track cell phones is available over the Internet. Secondly, my company does not invest or manufacture any kind of surveillance devices, and thirdly, if I hadn’t come to get you, you’d probably be waking up in the photographer’s bed, and from what I can remember, you weren’t overly enthused about him pressing his suit,” he says acidly.That's right, how dare she argue with you when you saved her from... an attack you had no idea was happening when you decided to trace her phone and hunt her down in person.
(Which, by the way, is not something that you can just find instructions for on the Internet; unless you're Google or the NSA, you have to install an app on someone's phone to track it remotely, and he hasn't had the opportunity to do that.)
“You’re lucky I’m just scolding you.” “What do you mean?” “Well, if you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday. You didn’t eat, you got drunk, you put yourself at risk.”This whole thing where Slab BulkHead chooses inappropriate moments to insert "BY THE WAY I AM KINKY" into every conversation is slowly changing my mental image of him. He's no longer Dracula. He's now the dude that gets your munch kicked out of the restaurant because he shows up in an "I love anal" t-shirt and goes "ooh, I like that" when the server calls him "sir."
He’s the only man who has ever set my blood racing around my body. Yet, he’s so antagonizing too; he’s difficult, complicated, and confusing. One minute he rebuffs me, the next he sends me fourteen-thousand-dollar books, then he tracks me like a stalker.Well, not like a stalker.
Did anyone edit this book? There's a ton of malapropisms and basic grammar errors in here. I can believe that E.L. James doesn't know what "antagonizing" means, but I'm amazed Vintage Books didn't have someone at least give this book a quick read-through before printing eighty gajillion copies.
He’s not a dark knight at all, but a white knight in shining, dazzling armor – a classic romantic hero – Sir Gawain or Lancelot.Considering that Lancelot was involved in an affair that ended with several people dead and drove his lover to become a nun... that might be more accurate than she realizes.
He said he likes his women sentient. He’s probably not celibate then.This fucking line, man.
Hastily, I dry myself, ignoring the pleasurable feel of the towel rubbing against my over-sensitized skin.For someone who's never known desire before and never engaged in any kind of sexual activity, she sure is really fucking horny all the time. And that's fine, in itself. But the idea that Slab PorkChunk's presence has somehow turned her from a meek little schoolgirl into someone who gets off on using a towel--that's the part I'm not okay with.
“Anastasia, I’m not a hearts and flowers kind of man, I don’t do romance. My tastes are very singular."I hate hate hate hate hate hatey hate hate the idea that sex and romance are opposites. That if you have kinky sex you must be cold and distant to your lovers, and if you're lovey-dovey you must have only slow gentle sex. It's not true and the implications are cruel to both love and sex.
I do romance. I also do flogging and fisting and double penetration. These things do not make me unlovable or emotionless. Nor do they make me incapable of gentle cuddly affection. They're just slightly higher-adrenaline versions of expressing my love.
“Have you applied to my company as I suggested?” I flush… of course not. “Um… no.” “And what’s wrong with my company?”"The massive conflict of interest and sexual harassment situation this would create."
"I’m not going to touch you Anastasia - not until I have your written consent to do so.”Well, except for when he took her pants off while she was unconscious.
The thing about written consent makes me wonder if E.L. James has a really confused view of what "consent" means. (I mean, clearly she does, but in a specific way.) Like, does she think it's some sort of legal action you have to take specifically to endorse BDSM activities?
"The record clearly shows that my client filed a Consent to Spank with the county clerk 48 hours in advance of all gluteal impact, your Honor."
"Once you’re enlightened, you probably won’t want to see me again.” Holy shit. What does that mean? Does he white-slave small children to some God-forsaken part of the planet? Is he part of some underworld crime syndicate? It would explain why he’s so rich. Is he deeply religious? Is he impotent? Surely not, he could prove that to me right now.White slavery: the bad kind of slavery!
I have no idea what that last line means. I guess he could pull out his soft dick and she could, like, try to make it hard and then when it stayed soft she could go "ahhh, I see," and that would explain why he can never even date?
He puts the phone down. No please or thank you.“Do people always do what you tell them?” “Usually, if they want to keep their jobs,” he says, deadpan.This is not "power" or "dominance." This is just "dickhead." I bet he throws a screaming shitfit if anyone ever tells him he has to wait in line like a regular person.
I also bet his employees wouldn't piss on him if he were on fire.
“Eat,” he says more sharply. “Anastasia, I have an issue with wasted food… eat.” “I can’t eat all this.” I gape at what’s left on the table. “Eat what’s on your plate. If you’d eaten properly yesterday, you wouldn’t be here, and I wouldn’t be declaring my hand so soon.” His mouth sets in a grim line. He looks angry.So he won't touch her without written consent (except for all the times he did), but he's perfectly happy dominating her with no consent and with her clearly refusing. Whee.
“Not having… sex.” There – I said the word. I blush – of course.For fuck's sake, she's 21. She has a sexually active roommate and friends and she's read lots of classic literature. It's a bit late for her to be all "S-E-You-Know-What" about the damn word.
I eye Christian’s toothbrush. It would be like having him in my mouth. Hmm… Glancing guiltily over my shoulder at the door, I feel the bristles on the toothbrush.They are damp. He must have used it already. Grabbing it quickly, I squirt toothpaste on it and brush my teeth in double quick time. I feel so naughty. It’s such a thrill.oh my god ewwwwww
“Oh, fuck the paperwork,” he growls. He lunges at me, pushing me against the wall of the elevator. Before I know it, he’s got both of my hands in one of his in a vice-like grip above my head, and he’s pinning me to the wall using his hips. Holy shit. His other hand grabs my ponytail and yanks down, bringing my face up, and his lips are on mine. [...] He brings his hand up to grasp my chin and holds me in place. I am helpless, my hands pinned, my face held, and his hips restraining me. I feel his erection against my belly.Well, so fucking much for even the slightest pretense of consent.
All I can think about when I read scenes like this is the smell. I picture his breath being really bad and his chest really sweaty with sticky little hairs poking out of the top of his shirt, and Ana turning her head to the side not even to evade anything, just to try and get a breath of fresh air.
But once again, this isn't just poor taste; this is supposed to be the extra sexy and kinky part. It's supposed to be the "yeah, we all give lip service to consent, but we all know it's hot when wild passion overrides that boring paperwork stuff, right?" part. It's not sexual assault, you see. It's late paperwork.
Is he totally unaffected by my presence? He glances at me out of the corner of his eye, and he gently blows out a deep breath. Oh, he’s affected all right– and my very small inner goddess sways in a gentle victorious samba.
“What is it about elevators?”Apparently this is one of the super sexy catchphrases of the book. It's on fan merchandise and stuff. I am truly, deeply disturbed to realize that the answer is: elevators are a place someone can't run away.