Two paragraphs. Six sentences. That’s it. That’s how long it takes Ana (or E.L. James, depending on how you look at it) to deliver the first “oh my” of Chapter Fifteen. Not that you can blame her, as Christian shows up at her apartment wearing a leather jacket, and “oh my, he’s hot in leather.”
Hot in leather? Hey, who isn’t?
OK, maybe that last one was a bad example.
Christian is here to hammer out the details of Ana’s “soft limits,” the last sticking point before she willingly enters into his proposed Dominant/Submissive relationship. Just to remind you what kind of great guy he is, and why Ana is going along with all this, he immediately refuses to take back the super expensive Thomas Hardy novels he gave her as a gift, and even threatens her over the very idea of returning them.
“I bought these for you,” he says quietly, his gaze impassive. “I’ll go easier on you if you accept them.”
Yeah, he sounds like a keeper.
Before they get down to the business at hand, Christian first begins plying Ana with champagne (she wonders if he is purposely trying to get her tipsy, but I don’t know – he’s seemed like such a gentleman up till now), and even awkwardly tries to make small talk.
“This place looks pretty bare. Are you ready for the move?”
“More or less.”
“Are you working tomorrow?”
“Yes, my last day at Claytons.”
“I’d help you move, but I promised to meet my sister at the airport.”
Oh…this is news.
“Mia arrives from Paris very early Saturday morning. I’m heading back to Seattle tomorrow, but I hear Elliot is giving you two a hand.”
Ah, so another character potentially enters the fray – Christian’s sister, Mia. Well, I’d be intrigued by this, if not for the book’s track record up to this point. I can only assume Mia will be just another distraction, thrown in to make us feel like we’re reading a real book about two real people with real friends and relatives, but otherwise quickly dismissed and forgotten about in favor of more insipid e-mail exchanges and interminably boring sex scenes, just like all the rest of the shitty supporting characters in this stupid fucking….
Phew. I don’t know, guys…am I starting to sound a little bitter about this book? Sorry. What I meant to say was, I can’t wait to see what insights and story possibilities Mia brings to the table!!
Next – and you’re just not gonna believe this – Christian asks Ana if she has eaten yet. Despite her earlier revelation about Christian’s hungry past, even she seems as bored with this question as I am, and sarcastically answers that she and her stepfather had a three course meal earlier. Christian doesn’t take kindly to this mockery.
He leans forward and holds my chin, staring intently into my eyes.
“Next time you roll your eyes at me, I will take you across my knee.”
“Oh,” I breathe, and I can see the excitement in his eyes.
“Oh,” he responds, mirroring my tone. “So it begins, Anastasia.”
And so the two soon sit down and finally begin going through the list of “soft limits.” And what a high stakes negotiation it is. Though Christian graciously agrees to her “no fisting” rule, he’s a little less receptive to the news that “anal intercourse doesn’t exactly float my boat,” as Ana puts it.
“I’ll agree to the fisting, but I’d really like to claim your ass, Anastasia.”
Well, that certainly shuts up both Ana’s subconscious and her inner goddess. Thankfully, Christian at least tells her they will work up to it, since “your ass needs training.” When she still shows trepidation, Christian assures her that anal sex can be very pleasurable, and he should know, as he himself has done it with his “Mrs. Robinson.” And from the sounds of it, I’m pretty sure he was playing catcher instead of pitcher that day…if you know what I’m saying, and I think you do.
Moving on, Christian wins Ana back over by saying that not only does Ana not have a problem with swallowing semen, but she even earns an A in the act – a statement which makes the shy Ana blush, but causes her inner goddess to smack her lips together in pride. Man, her inner goddess is a naughty, naughty girl.
Ana agrees to all sex toys (despite her earlier worries about anal sex, she quickly accepts the idea of butt plugs, proving her uncanny adaptability – Darwin would be so proud), and seems more or less OK with the general idea of bondage (except for suspension, due to their earlier conversation on the matter). She is a little worried about the idea of gagging while tied up, but Christian assures her they will have safe words and hand signals for that very reason. That would have been a perfect opportunity for Ana to say, “hey, I’ve got a hand signal for you right now, buddy”…
…but since she’s already agreed to let him stick at least three different objects up her butt, I guess she’s all in at this point.
But wait – the next issue is the one she’s especially worried about – pain. When Christian asks her what her general attitude to receiving pain is, she can’t even begin to form an answer.
“Were you physically punished as a child?”
“So you have no sphere of reference at all?”
“It’s not as bad as you think. Your imagination is your worst enemy in this,” he whispers.
So is he saying the general idea of pain isn’t as bad as she thinks, or specifically being physically punished as a child? Because, really, I’m not sure I’d agree with either statement, but one of them is certainly more creepy than the other.
Whatever the case, Ana hesitantly agrees to all proposed forms of punishment/pain, with the concession that they will slowly work up to the most painful (caning). Though, frankly, I can’t help but wonder if that’s more for his benefit than hers – maybe he just wouldn’t be turned on as much if, during the entire three months, her ass looked like bloody, raw hamburger. Or, maybe he would. I don’t know, this guy is crazy.
Their stated limits now set, Christian tells Ana he wants to immediately take her to bed, as talking this over has gotten him excited. “I want to fuck you into next week, right now,” is how he actually says it. Even though Ana’s inner goddess is likewise “panting,” she’s still a little overwhelmed, so Christian goes to the next level and tells her that – after thinking about it – he is also willing to try to have a “normal” relationship with Ana on the days that they are not doing the Dominant thing. He can’t guarantee it will work, but he’s willing to try…as long as she accepts his graduation gift to her.
And what is that gift?
That’s right, Christian leads Ana outside and proudly shows her her brand new red hatchback two-door Audi. And then they fuck.
OK, OK, it doesn’t happen exactly like that. But maybe it would have been less icky if it did. Instead, Ana first hems and haws about accepting such an extravagant gift, and an impatient Christian has heard enough.
“It’s taking all my self-control not to fuck you on the hood of this car right now, just to show you that you are mine, and if I want to buy you a fucking car, I’ll buy you a fucking car,” he growls. “Now let’s get you inside and naked.” He plants a swift rough kiss on me.
Boy, he’s angry.
You think? Christian pulls her back inside and directly into the bedroom, Ana pleading for forgiveness the entire time. “Please don’t be angry with me….I’m sorry about the car and the books.”
But maybe it’s not fair of me to make fun of Ana’s now submissive attitude, or Christian’s domineering behavior. Because, in a stunning reversal, Christian informs her that, this time, he is allowing her to be in charge.
Oh the possibilities… my inner goddess roars, and from somewhere born out of frustration, need, and sheer Steele bravery, I push him on the bed. He laughs as he falls, and I gaze down at him feeling victorious. My inner goddess is going to explode. I yank off his shoes, quickly, clumsily, and his socks. He’s staring up at me, his eyes luminous with amusement and desire. He looks… glorious… mine. I crawl up the bed and sit astride him to undo his jeans, sliding my fingers under the waistband, feeling the hair in his oh-so-happy trail.
And then she…wait…”oh-so-happy trail??”
Ana struggles to remove his pants, but eventually he gives her a hand and she unleashes the beast, so to speak.
Holy moses, he’s all mine to play with, and suddenly it’s Christmas.
Well, that’s certainly one way to define “Christmas.”
Ana – who we already know was an immediate oral sex master – decides to once again put those skills on display, taking Christian in her mouth and almost causing him to immediately cum. When he yells at her to stop, she is at first hurt and confused, until he tells her he wants her to be on top of him.
Grabbing one of the condoms the always reliable Christian brought with him, Ana puts it up and then admires her handiwork. “He really is a fine specimen of a man,” she thinks, before mounting him.
I groan as he stretches me open, filling me, my mouth hanging open in surprise at the sweet, sublime, agonizing over-full feeling. Oh…please.
The cowgirl continues, even with handy helpful step-by-step instructions (“we pick up the rhythm…up, down, up, down…over and over”), and though I at first feared another long, drawn out scene with multiple positions and orgasms, this one is actually over relatively quickly.
I am fucking him. I am in charge. He’s mine, and I’m his. The thought pushes me, weighted with concrete, over the edge, and I climax around him…shouting incoherently. He grabs my hips, and closing his eyes, tipping his head back, his jaw strained, he comes quietly.
Well, isn’t that just like a woman…yapping away while the man is just trying to enjoy a moment of silence. Am I right, guys? Guys?
Anyway, James ends the chapter with Ana in a post-coital introspective mood.
I collapse on his chest, overwhelmed, somewhere between fantasy and reality, a place where there are no hard or soft limits.
And sadly (just kidding), another chapter ends. Which of course means it’s time for…
The Official George Takei “Oh My” Counter® = 41!
Making up for the disappointing single “oh my” in Chapter Fourteen, we get three this time, as the sex scene at chapter’s end adds to more to the aforementioned leather jacket “oh my.” Now that’s more like it.