When we last left Ana, her trip to Georgia to visit her mom was coming to an end, and she was fretting about what potential secrets she might have let slip while talking in her sleep next to Christian. Compelling stuff, to be sure. But with only two chapters left to go in this “book,” I can’t help but imagine the real focus (given that, with two more books to follow, it doesn’t really have to have a real “ending”) will continue to be wet, steamy sex. For instance, a number of chapters have started with Ana’s hot fantasies, in order to properly set the mood for the carnal delights to follow. Let’s see what loin-warming delights Chapter Twenty-Five has for us, shall we?
My mother hugs me tightly.
Oh, no, wait…sorry…wrong image. What I meant was…
Nah, just kidding. Neither is appropriate, really. No incest here. Turns out the chapter does just begin with Ana saying a tearful farewell to her mother and stepfather Bob at the airport. Still, there is some drama for Ana’s mama, as Ana is so clearly visibly distressed that her mother can’t help but flash her best “endearing-motherly-absolute-unconditional-love smile” and offer her daughter some relationship advice:
“Darling, you know what they say. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.”
Advice that doesn’t really apply to Ana, as she certainly doesn’t think of Christian as a frog. At least not a frog in any sense of how we know it.
Ana says her goodbyes and boards her flight, once again treated to a first class seat thanks to her sugar-daddy. As she waits to take off, her “mother’s words waft like a zephyr through my mind.” HUH? Eh, whatever – the point is, she can’t stop thinking about Christian’s apparent inability to truly love her the way she needs, due to his broken upbringing.
And because of his fifty shades, I am holding myself back. The BDSM is a distraction from the real issue.
Are you freaking kidding me right now?! You’re gonna get to Chapter Twenty-Five and then have the main character say the BDSM – the only true selling point of this book – is “a distraction from the real issue?” No…the BDSM is the real issue. It sure as hell ain’t the “love story” of Christian and Ana. Believe me, we can get better love stories from any number of sources. Heck…we can even get a better love story from Fifty Shade’s original inspiration…
So there’s a little more farting around with Ana e-mailing Christian before her flight takes off (surprise!! Nothing important is said!) and debating whether or not to give him a small gift her and her mother picked out for him (we’re not told what it is…the suspense is killing me), and then she flies home and is picked up at the airport by trusty Taylor, who she is happy to see but can not get to engage in anything but the smallest of small-talk. Ana settles for simply listening to Pachelbel’s canon as Taylor drives her “home” to Christian’s place, and none of this is at all important because I’m sure all the invested readers are really just waiting for this chapter to turn into a four-alarm fuck-fest.
Well, don’t worry, it does. Almost as soon as Ana walks in the door. For even though Christian is on the phone with someone and clearly perturbed about whatever “situation” it was that caused him to leave Georgia early last chapter, his demeanor instantly changes when he sees Ana.
I stand paralyzed as he closes the distance between us, devouring me with his eyes. Holy shit… something’s amiss – the strain in his jaw, the anxiety around his eyes. He shrugs out of his jacket, undoes his dark tie, and slings them both on the couch en route to me. Then his arms are wrapped around me, and he’s pulling me to him, hard, fast, gripping my ponytail to tilt my head up, kissing me like his life depends on it. What the hell?
I don’t really share Ana’s confusion, since it seems like this is now roughly the hundredth time this has happened, but whatever. Ana is incredibly turned on by this (“I have never felt so desired and coveted”), and Christian demands she accompany him to the bathroom to shower together. Look, we’re all adults here, and all fairly familiar by now with what this book is like. Do you really need me to summarize the next few pages? We all know what’s going down, right?
Still, I’d feel bad just skipping the scene entirely, so, in the spirit of keeping myself entertained, let me try a little conceptual experiment. Here is every third word in the shower-sex scene, up to Ana exploding in an “intense, all-consuming orgasm:”
Hook – white – and – drops – knees – tugs – my – now – so – naked – waist – panting – grabs – pushing – the – and – at – of – grabbing – thighs – my – I – feeling – circling – oh – my – involuntarily – as – find – into – his – strong – laving – round – again – nonstop – the – feeling – painful – starts – and – me – my – ragged – pant – him – anticipation – my – both – me – he – hard – tongue – mouth – taste – unzipping – he – grabs – of – and – wrap – around – he – voice – I – I’m – wrap – around – and – quickly – filling – he – and – holding – his – into – flesh – to – at – steady – but – control – speeds – and – I – head – concentrate – invading -sensation – pushing – higher – when – take – I – him – an – orgasm
See? I’m sure you got the point. By the way, did you notice that, even doing that, an “oh my” popped up in there? And you think I’m kidding about that damn phrase.
With that sordid business out of of the way, Ana and Christian proceed to actually shower together, where Ana is disappointed to find Christian will not allow her to wash him despite him doing the same to her. Trying to overlook the disappointment, she takes the opportunity to tell Christian about getting the job at SIP (he’s happy for her), and nervously asks him to accompany her to José’s photography show (he says “yes”). She is actually surprised that he agrees to the latter, given she thought he was “on the jealous side.”
“Yes, I am,” he says darkly. “And you’d do well to remember that.”
Ahhh… sweet nothings.
As they dine together afterwards, Ana tries to get Christian to open up about the situation that is bothering him, but he tells her it’s nothing she needs to worry about, being a girl and all. Well, OK, he didn’t say that last part…but it definitely felt implied. Rather than worry her with his business matters, Christian instead tells Ana to go check out all the new clothes he has bought for her (“Car, phone, computer… clothes, it’ll be a damn condo next, and then I really will be his mistress”), and then to meet him in “the playroom” in fifteen. Yeah, c’mon, you didn’t think we were gonna get away with just one brief sex-scene in this chapter, did you? Oh, no, no…we’re in for the long haul here.
Like the good little submissive she is (or wants to be… or doesn’t…I don’t even know anymore), Ana complies and is soon waiting on her knees in the Red Room of Pain, naked except for her panties. Whatever second thoughts she might have been having about all this at the beginning of the chapter are now a distant memory.
This is so… I want to think wrong, but somehow it’s not. It’s right for Christian. It’s what he wants – and after the last few days… after all he’s done, I have to man up and take whatever he decides he wants, whatever he thinks he needs.
Ana’s heart nearly “lurches to a stop” when Christian finally enters, “naked except for those soft ripped jeans, top button casually undone.” She can barely control herself at this point, once again going all Quentin Tarantino on us:
I can see his naked feet, and I want to kiss every inch of them… run my tongue over his instep, suck each of his toes. Holy shit.
Before going any further, Christian makes sure Ana remembers their previously agreed upon safe-words (“yellow” and “red”). This freaks Ana out even more, but Christian assures her it’s not what she thinks.
“My intention is not that you should safe-word because you’re in pain. What I intend to do you will be intense. Very intense, and you have to guide me. Do you understand?”
It turns out that what Christian is talking about is blindfolding Ana, tying her to the bed, sticking earphones in her ears, playing music so she can’t hear him, and then gently whipping her with a flogger. This leads to one of my favorite moments yet in the book, as Ana observes Christian preparing his iPod:
Okay. A musical interlude. Not what I was expecting. Does he ever do what I expect? Jeez, I hope it’s not rap.
Never let it be said that Ana doesn’t have her priorities in order. By the way, in case you were wondering, it’s not rap, but rather “Spem in Alium, or the Forty Part Motet, by Thomas Tallis.” Cause don’t forget, Christian is a classy motherfucker.
Needless to say, this scene goes on for a while, with Christian first teasing the blindfolded Ana with a fur glove (“it’s like being fondled by Chewbacca”… well, alright she didn’t really say that, but I sure wish she had), then striking her with the flogger (“it’s a sweet agony – bearable, just… pleasant”), before finally throwing the toys aside and just giving her a good old-fashioned in-out, in-out. Hey, sometimes the old ways work the best, and sure enough, his furious lovemaking causes Ana to “free fall… into the most intense, agonizing orgasm I have ever had.” Which would probably sound even more impressive if it didn’t seem to occur every chapter.
We then get our customary post-sex small-talk scene, with Christian admitting he’s “always wanted to fuck to” that song, and also finally telling Ana what she said in her sleep a few nights back.
“You said lots of things, Anastasia. You talked about cages and strawberries… that you wanted more… and that you missed me.”
Ana is relieved, but when she asks if that’s really all she said, Christian can’t help but think Ana isn’t telling him everything.
“And you are hiding something, Anastasia. I may have to torture it out of you.”
- WILL Christian torture it out of her?
- WILL Ana ever sign that damn contract they went on and on about for damn-near half this book?
- WILL we ever find out what that gift is she got for Christian?
- WILL I be impressed enough with how this shit wraps up to consider reading the next two books?
All of these questions and maybe more (but maybe not) WILL be answered next time…when I FINALLY FINISH FIFTY SHADES OF GREY!!!
But first… let me say one more thing about this fucking chapter…
I don’t know exactly when E.L. James (or “Snowqueen’s Icedragon,” as she was known back then) decided to rename this fan-fiction nonsense to Fifty Shades of Grey from its original title, Master of the Universe. Given the unavoidable He-Man association of the old name, it was probably a good move. But still, it drives me absolutely mad how Ana actually refers to Christian as “Fifty Shades.” It’s the stupidest pet name ever, and almost makes me angry every time I come across (I mean, more angry than I already am reading this thing). Ana uses the phrase three times in this chapter, and each time it drove me batty. Can you imagine if Elizabeth Bennet had called Mr. Darcy “Mr. Pride and Prejudice?” If Elinor Dashwood had called Edward Ferrars “My Darling Sense & Sensibility?” If Jane Eyre had called Mr. Rochester “Jane Eyre?” Alright, that last one is sort of weird, but you get my point. I hate it. Rant over. For now.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For the second chapter in a row, we’re given four “oh my’s” (and, no, I’m not including the one I created in my little experiment), bringing our grand total to:
The Official George Takei “Oh My” Counter® = 61!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *