When we last left dearest Ana, she had just discovered that Christian has followed her all the way to Georgia, where she is visiting her mother. Overlooking the fact that this was supposed to be her private trip to spend time with family, I can still see how – on the surface level – this might seem like a grand romantic gesture…if not for all the other creepy shit that has preceded it, that is. As Christian makes his way over to their table at the beginning of the chapter, Ana even muses to herself, “I have neglected to mention Christian’s stalker tendencies to my mom.”
But, of course, that’s not how Ana rolls. Instead, not surprisingly, she is almost instantly turned on as Christian introduces himself to her mother…and, for that matter, so is her mother.
He gives her the heart-stopping, Christian Grey patented, full-blown-no-prisoners-taken smile. She doesn’t have a hope. My mother’s lower jaw practically hits the table. Jeez, get a grip Mom.
“Get a grip Mom?” You’ve been spending twenty-two chapters getting moist every time this guy looks in your direction…how dare you think ill of your mom for the same!
By the way, you can add “Christian dumps Ana for her mom” to the list of “Plot Twists that Trevor Thinks Would Make This Book Better.”
Anyway, Christian does admit that he has flown to Georgia just to surprise Ana, but for some reason then spews some crap about how running into her at this particular moment is just a random coincidence, as Ana and her mom just happened to stop for drinks at the hotel he is staying at.
And then we get one of my favorite moments in the book yet, as Ana’s inner monologue turns absolutely schizophrenic (I mean, even more so than usual) while she takes in this strange situation.
I glance quickly at Mom who is staring at Christian… yes staring! Stop it, Mom. As if he’s some exotic creature, never seen before. I mean, I know I’ve never had a boyfriend, and Christian only qualifies as such for ease of reference – but is it so unbelievable that I could attract a man? This man? Yes, frankly – look at him – my subconscious snaps. Oh, shut up! Who invited you to the party?
After first getting Christian to agree to dinner with the two of them tomorrow night, Ana’s mother excuses herself to go the bathroom. Christian takes the opportunity to ask Ana why she is so upset over his having dinner with “Mrs. Robinson.” Ana bluntly explains that she considers “Mrs. Robinson” a child molester, to which Christian takes offense. “She was a force for good,” he says. “What I needed.”
Yeah, I get that. A “force for good” Sort of like Superman…only instead of saving citizens from villains and disasters, she beat a fifteen-year-old boy with whips and made him have sex with her. I mean, you know, “good” is all relative.
The conversation continues, with Christian dropping two more bombshells – that “Mrs. Robinson” is in fact still a current business partner, and that their sexual relationship only ended because her husband found out. Ana’s mental state upon hearing this news can probably best be summed up like this:
Perhaps sensing this, Christian decides to excuse himself for the evening, first laying on a little more “mother seducing” flirting before leaving. Once he is gone, Ana’s mom can’t wait to talk about what a catch he is, but also perceptibly acknowledges that there is clearly something going on between the two of them at the moment. “Phew – the UST in here,” she says, “it’s unbearable.” I’m not too proud to admit I had to look up what UST stood for. “Unresolved Sexual Tension,” for those of you that, like me, just aren’t hip to today’s lingo.
Ana’s mom keeps it going, telling an embarrassed Ana that Christian is clearly in love with her (“I don’t care how rich you are, you don’t drop everything and get in your private plane to cross a whole continent just for afternoon tea”), and that she should go to him now and screw his brains out. Well, OK, she doesn’t say that…at least not in those words.
“Darling, don’t feel you have to come back with me. I want you happy – and right now I think the key to your happiness is upstairs in room 612. If you need to come home later, the key is under the yucca plant on the front porch. If you stay – well… you’re a big girl now. Just be safe.”
This is gonna sound weird, but… I think I want to hang out with Ana’s mom.
So Ana heads up to Christian’s hotel room – ostensibly to finally make him say whether or not he loved “Mrs. Robinson” (“No,” he tells a relieved Ana), but, really, we all know where this is heading. I mean, do I still have to summarize these scenes at this point? I doubt there’s anything James could throw in that would surprise…
I moan and reach up and grasp his arms.
“Are you bleeding?” He continues to kiss me.
Holy fuck. Does nothing slip by him?
“Yes,” I whisper, embarrassed.
Alright, well… that’s new. But, whatever. I’m sure it’s just back to business as usual after that blip. Yep, sure enough – the two are soon in the bathroom, where Christian gets Ana to briefly play with herself in front of him, before…
He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string – what?! – and gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet.
Well…uhhh…that’s something that happened.
Beyond that, though, this is just another typical Fifty Shades sex scene, with Ana almost immediately experiencing another massive orgasm (“I come, loudly, gripping for dear life onto the sink as I spiral down”) as Christian plows into her. The only difference, of course, is this is their first “skin on skin” encounter, as Ana’s period emboldens Christian not to have to tear a foil packet this time. Awww, another first. I’m so happy for these two crazy kids.
As the two take a post-coital bath together, Ana brings up “Mrs. Robinson” yet again, this time to ask if she was responsible for the small white scars on Christian’s chest. Christian insists she was not, and – tired of Ana’s constant demonizing of the woman – tells Ana that he “probably would have gone the way of my birth mother” if not for Mrs. Robinson’s loving intervention. I guess that’s good news it didn’t turn out that way for Christian, though I’m not gonna lie and say I wouldn’t have enjoyed a version of this book where Ana meets a crack-head, prostitute Christian and still falls head over heels for him.
Ana keeps pressing the issue, until finally noticing how increasingly angry Christian is getting as he continuously tells her that “Mrs. Robinson” is now just a trusted friend and business partner. Resigned to let it go for the moment, Ana instead finds herself now questioned by Christian, who – surprise, surprise – still wants to know how Ana feels about their proposed arrangement. Oh, good… this again.
Ana, needless to say, still has the same reservations as before. “I don’t think I can do it for an extended period of time,” she says. “A whole weekend being someone I’m not.” Christian actually agrees with this, humorously admitting that the stubborn Ana does not make a great submissive. Still, he does get her to admit that it’s not so much the spanking she doesn’t like (she admits it wasn’t that bad), but rather the anticipation of it… not to mention the weird feeling she has about actually finding pleasure in it.
“You can always use the safe word, Anastasia. Don’t forget that. And, as long as you follow the rules, which fulfill a deep need in me for control and to keep you safe, then perhaps we can find a way forward.”
“Why do you need to control me?”
“Because it satisfies a need in me that wasn’t met in my formative years.”
Yep… this counts as pillow-talk in Fifty Shades of Grey.
Naturally, because they are having this conversation naked in a bath-tub and these two are simply insatiable, this all leads to yet another sex scene. For those of you keeping score at home, Ana’s orgasm this time is “a turbulent, passionate apogee that devours me whole,” while Christian’s scream of “Ana, baby!” when he comes is “a wild invocation, stirring and touching the depths of my soul.”
This is followed with some more pillow-talk – some banal (in case you were wondering, Christian’s favorite movie is The Piano, starring Harvey Keitel), some a little more interesting (Christian reveals, to Ana’s dismay, that she is not the seventeenth woman he has had sex with – fifteen is only the number of women that have been in his Red Room of Pain… he has in fact slept with many more, sometimes even paying for sex).
Still, it ends on a happy note (I guess), when Ana agrees to return to the Red Room of Pain herself in the upcoming weekend. A thrilled Christian tells Ana he wants to give her a special surprise tomorrow. Oh boy – I hope it’s a pony!
* * * * * * * * * *
Making up for a total lack of “oh my’s” in the last chapter, James comes roaring back with three utterances of the phrase this time around, bringing our grand total to: