I can only speak for myself but, personally, anytime I’ve had to consider an offer to become some dude’s submissive slave, I’ve done so with a good, long jog. It’s just one of those routines I’ve picked up, you know? As it turns out, it’s also one of the many things I share in common with our heroine, Ana, as she begins Chapter Twelve still contemplating Christian’s Dominant/Submissive contract.
For the first time in my life, I voluntarily go for a run. I find my nasty, never-used sneakers, some sweat pants, and a t-shirt.
Hey, wait a second…if this is the first time she’s ever gone for a run, and her sneakers are “never-used,” then when are they also “nasty?” Doesn’t that imply overuse when you’re talking about footwear? Look, I know this is going to sound crazy, but sometimes I just kind of get the feeling that E.L. James isn’t even really trying that hard.
Anyway, there’s nothing really that noteworthy about Ana’s jog – though she does inform us she’s listening to Snow Patrol, thus confirming the next track for the Fifty Shades soundtrack I’m convinced James is shooting for. Also, Ana says she sets off “into the opal and aquamarine dusk.” I love those weird, random sentences where James suddenly tries to sound like a real author. I guess maybe she heard me when I said she wasn’t trying earlier.
Eventually, Ana decides that the whole contract thing might be OK in theory, but only if she is allowed to first share her concerns with Christian and perhaps ask for some changes in the rules. Instead of just telling Christian this, though, she instead decides to send him a jokey e-mail saying “Okay, I’ve seen enough. It was nice knowing you.” I guess she never saw that Mr. Show skit about the dangers of written sarcasm.
I should probably apologize for including that clip – in the midst of all this Fifty Shades nonsense, suddenly watching a segment from a truly brilliant, well-written show must have been quite the jarring experience. I hope I didn’t hurt any of your brains.
Ana impatiently waits by her laptop for Christian to respond to the message. When ten minutes go by with no answer (ten whole minutes!!), Ana again cranks the Snow Patrol in her headphones and begins packing up her room, in preparation for the move Kate and her will soon be making. Oh, yeah, her and Kate are moving soon. I’m not sure if I ever mentioned that in any of the previous chapter reviews. It probably didn’t seem that important to me at the time. I’m still not even sure it’s that important. Seriously, it’s sort of tough to decide which elements to highlight in these reviews, and truthfully, I’ll almost always just defer to insipid dialogue or scenes with boobies and wee-wee’s.
And speaking of those scenes – Ana’s packing is interrupted when…well, I’ll let her explain:
I don’t know why I glance up, maybe I catch a slight movement from the corner of my eye, I don’t know, but when I do, he’s standing in the doorway of my bedroom watching me intently. He’s wearing his grey flannel pants and a white linen shirt, gently twirling his car keys. I pull my ear buds out and freeze. Fuck!
Now the insinuation here is clearly supposed to be that Kate allowed Christian into the apartment without first asking Ana’s permission, but instead it almost comes across as somewhat magical. As if her pining for his response somehow summoned him like a genie. My guess is this is a tip of the hat to the scene in Twilight where Bella finds Edward in her bedroom, watching her sleep…
and I’m sure it will fool…err, I mean impress the same women who thought that was really romantic, too.
I, on the other hand, find both pretty darn creepy. I mean, yeah, knowing someone is really into you can be extremely flattering, and having them show up somewhere unexpectedly, just to see you, could be a pleasant surprise. But it’s the insinuation of why Christian suddenly showed up at Ana’s place that gives the moment an icky overtone. We are to assume Christian didn’t know Ana was just joking when she said “it was nice knowing you,” so his immediate response to this is to jump into his expensive sports car and hurriedly drive over to her place just to fuck her (don’t worry, I’m getting there), as if to enforce the point that she already belongs to him, even if she doesn’t know it yet. Ana even suggests as much in a conversation with Kate later in the chapter.
“He came here to fuck me, that’s all.”
“Who said romance was dead?” she whispers horrified. I’ve shocked Kate. I didn’t think that was possible. I shrug apologetically.
“He uses sex as a weapon.”
But because Christian has been described as this super-hot smoldering hunk of a perfect specimen, Ana isn’t really too concerned about this kind of behavior, much in the same way Bella thinks it’s just dandy that Edward sneaks into her room at night to watch her sleep and is constantly fighting the urge to kill her. “Who said romance was dead,” indeed.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I said there was a sex scene, and I know all you pervs reading this blog would be upset if I didn’t share some of the details. That’s what you’re all really here for, right?
Ana is obviously at first flabbergasted by Christian’s sudden appearance in her bedroom, and for a while has a hard time saying anything in his presence. But eventually she manages to stammer out some awkward small-talk. Christian is clearly not overly amused with her message to him.
“And you decided that it was nice knowing me? Do you mean knowing me in the biblical sense?”
Oh Shit. I flush.
“I didn’t think you were familiar with the bible.”
“I went to Sunday School, Anastasia. It taught me a great deal.”
“I don’t remember reading about nipple clamps in the Bible. Perhaps you were taught from a modern translation.”
Yes, perhaps he was…
Christian makes his intentions clear – “Well, I thought I should come and remind you how nice it was knowing me…What do you say to that, Miss Steele?” No points awarded for guessing what happens next.
His gray eyes blaze at me, his challenge intrinsic in his stare. His lips are parted – he’s waiting, coiled to strike. Desire – acute, liquid and smoldering, combusts deep in my belly. I take preemptive action and launch myself at him. Somehow he moves, I have no idea how, and in the blink of an eye I’m on the bed pinned beneath him, my arms stretched out and held above my head, his free hand clutching my face, and his mouth finds mine.
His tongue is in my mouth, claiming and possessing me, and I revel in the force he uses.
Christian soon pulls out “his silver grey silk tie…that silver grey woven tie” and fastens Ana’s wrists to her bed’s headboard.
“If you struggle, I’ll tie your feet, too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you. Keep quiet. Katherine is probably outside listening right now.”
Next, Christian blindfolds Ana and temporarily leaves to get a drink (Ana thinks she hears him talking to Kate outside – considering he’s half naked at this point, and if Kate has been listening, that’s gotta be one hell of a conversation). He returns with white wine, which he fills his mouth with and then pours into Ana’s mouth while kissing her (Alicia Silverstone probably finds that so hot!). He then begins playfully torturing her by rubbing her nipples with an ice cube…
No, no, no…an actual ice cube. Ana is so turned on she begins begging him to let her touch him. He refuses at first, slipping his fingers into her panties and mercilessly teasing her by continuously bringing her right to the point of orgasm and then stopping. Finally, he relents to Ana’s pleas.
“Shall I fuck you this way, or this way, or this way? There’s an endless choice,” he breathes against my lips. He withdraws his hand and reaches over to the bedside table for a foil packet. He kneels up between my legs, and very slowly he pulls my panties off, staring down at me, his eyes gleaming. He puts on the condom. I watch fascinated, mesmerized.
Wait a minute…what? If you watched my drunken recap of Chapter Nine, you’ve already heard me comment on the prevalence of these “foil packet” moments. And, sure, I guess it’s admirable that even in a raunchy fuck-fest like this, E.L. James still wants to promote safe sex (though I can’t help but wonder if it was a publisher mandated decision). But, still, this here is something of a head-scratcher. Why would a chaste girl like Ana have condoms sitting on her bedside table? I mean, that’s the way this makes it sound – like there’s a candy dish or something there, just filled with your choice of prophylactics. I suppose the real answer is Christian put them there while he had Ana blindfolded, but that’s not really how it sounds. Oh, and by the way, Miss James, if I’m spending this much time pondering the mysterious origin of a condom right in the middle of one of your big sex scenes, I’m not sure what that says about how effective the moment really is.
But that’s OK, because shit is about to get real. You see, everything up until now has just been foreplay – it’s time for the main event, and time to prove that Christian is the sexual God Ana has been making him out to be. He already brought her to multiple orgasms the first time they had sex, but heck, that was spread out over a span of several minutes. That’s kid’s stuff! Christian was clearly just warming up, preparing to unleash his own patented brand of sexual annihilation on this poor, doe-eyed innocent. Now, the time is here. Christian Grey…bring it.
He pushes both my knees up the bed so my behind is in the air, and he slaps me hard. Before I can react, he plunges inside me. I cry out – from the slap and from his sudden assault, and I come instantly again and again, falling apart beneath him as he continues to slam deliciously into me. He doesn’t stop. I’m spent. I can’t take this…and he pounds on and on and on…then I’m building again…surely not…no…
“Come on, Anastasia, again” he growls through clenched teeth, and unbelievably, my body responds, convulsing around him as I climax anew, calling out his name. I shatter again into tiny fragments, and Christian stills, finally letting go, silently finding his release. He collapses on top of me, breathing hard.
Since I’m assuming most of my readers are of the female persuasion, I’m not gonna come right out and say for sure that I’ve never quite pulled that off. But, hey…good on ya, Grey, good on ya.
A physically spent Ana does eventually get to share at least one of her concerns with Christian as they lay there basking in the afterglow of their moment. She asks if Christian will “collar” her…
…to which Christian responds in the negative, explaining that he has never collared anyone, even though he himself was collared by the older woman that seduced him as a child. In doing so, Christian confirms that he still talks to this woman on a regular basis. When Ana expresses dismay that he has someone he can discuss the lifestyle with while she doesn’t, Christian amazingly (and stupidly) asks Ana if she would like to meet one of his former submissives, to swap shop talk, I guess. Not surprisingly, Ana doesn’t take to the idea. Man, typical dude, right? Sure, he can make you cum twenty times in under a minute, but then he expects you to hang out with a girl he used to shove butt-plugs into on the weekends! Honestly, ladies, I don’t know how you put up with us!
As Christian leaves for the night, Ana’s mind is alive with all kinds of concerns about what sort of relationship she is getting herself into. She seems to understand that “if I do this thing with him, I will get hurt.” When she is momentarily dazzled by a goodnight kiss and a smile from Christian, she is “reminded once more of Icarus soaring too close to the sun.” Ana is pretty deep like that. In the aforementioned conversation with Kate (during which Kate impressively never brings up the fact that she must have heard them going at it, considering it’s just a small apartment, after all), Ana confides that she has doubts over whether she can continue to pursue anything with Christian…even though any reader with half a brain knows what she apparently doesn’t – that she is clearly leaning towards signing that contract.
Kate lets Ana know that Ana’s father called while she was “occupied,” to let her know that “apparently Bob has sustained some injury, so your mom and he can’t make graduation. But your dad will be here Thursday.” I’m guessing Bob is her mom’s husband and therefore her stepfather – I mean, I’m sure that information was given earlier in the book, but I’m just being honest and admitting that I don’t really remember all the details. Hey, I’m not reading this for a grade or anything, so sue me.
The chapter ends with Ana e-mailing Christian her full list of “issues” with the contract – a list far too long to fully get into here. Selected highlights:
- She wants a one month trial period instead of three.
- Likewise, she’d prefer three weekends out of the month instead of all four.
- She’s not sure she wants to be “whipped, flogged or corporally punished.”
- She doesn’t understand why she’s not allowed to touch herself, especially since she never does it anyway (huh??).
- No fisting of any kind, and she’s not exactly thrilled at the prospect of genital clamps, either.
- But, most importantly, she absolutely refuses to adhere to a predetermined food list “The food list goes or I do – deal breaker.”
Anastastia Steele – she has her priorities, and those priorities include cheesecake and burgers, dammit!