Previously: Grey wins Ana back with threats of violence and a pre-loaded iPad full of the songs he probably listened to while sitting outside her window.
Lorraine: Ana says that not having a car is pretty awesome because it means that she’ll be able to listen to her iPad full of “wonderful tunes” on the bus to work. By the time she gets there, she’s smiling so much even her boss notices the difference. “You look… radiant,” he says and Ana thinks, “how inappropriate!” probably as she powers off her “sososorry I beat you, LOL” iPad, which is not inappropriate at aaaaall.
Sweeney: He’s super sorry about the beating, except for the part where he’s not, because he actually thinks it was her fault for not using the safe word. It’s more of a “Sososorry I can’t trust you, but here’s a shiny thing to distract you from having to think so that we can avoid this problem in the future” iPad.
Lor: Absolutely true, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Jack gives Ana some work to do, but instead of doing that she starts to email Grey about nothing at all relevant, entertaining or useful. We cut away to lunch time and Ana is eating a pastrami sandwich and listening to more songs on her Sososorry I Beat You Playlist. In case you hate life enough to be curious, the songs she mentions are Nitin Sawhney’s “Homelands,” and “Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Talis” by Vaughn Williams.
Later that afternoon, Ana is bored and decides to email Grey some more. He informs her that her emails at SIP are monitored. Ana’s all, “how does Grey know my work emails are monitored?!?!!” and as much as I want to be all, “’cause they are work emails DUH,” it’s Christian mother fucking Grey. He probably tapped the owner’s cell phone or hacked a server or something else (say it with me) inappropriate.
Sweeney: WORD. Neither the fact that her work emails are monitored nor the fact that Christian Stalker Boyfriend Grey knows that emails are monitored should surprise her. But then, of course, this is also Anastasia Steele, who, as a narrator, regularly insults the reader with her inability to know things.
Lor: At the end of the day, Jack comes over to invite Ana for a drink with the rest of her co-workers at a bar named…
Before heading over to the bar, Ana goes to the bathroom to email Grey. She’s all, “hey, I’m going to a bar that reminds me of just how fucked up you are! Isn’t that hilar?” Okay, so what she actually writes is a lot less entertaining than my version and it features a joke about miners. So, you’re welcome, I fixed it. She invites Grey to join her for drinks because God forbid she do something without Grey!
Sweeney: It’s exhausting to point out all the ways this relationship is unhealthy, but it’s occasionally worth checking in: CODEPENDENCY YAY!
Lor: She checks herself out in the mirror and notices that she has color in her face and her eyes are shining and calls it the “Christian Grey effect.” I’m not going to deny the existence of such an effect but only clarify that the face color is repressed rage and the shininess in the eyes are tears. All the tears. A few emails from Grey? Insta-face color and eye moisture.
Outside, as Ana heads to the bar, she hears someone call her name. She turns and sees “an ahsen young woman,” with brown hair and brown eyes. Ana’s all, “uh, can I help you?” The girl says that she just wanted to look at her. Ana realizes that the girl’s designer trench coat is two sizes too big for her and also that she looks “uncared for.” Interesting choice of words, immediately giving away that this girl is either a toddler OR the Ghost of Submissives Past. This could be your future, Ana. You too could be wearing a too-large designer trench coat if your ways remain unchanged!
Sweeney: This is a super important PSA, girl. Pay attention!
Also, I am a major fan of Ghost of Submissives Past. Well done. You, with the naming, that is. Not E. L. with the introduction of throwaways characters who will, in reality, further condemn the validity of this relationship, but will, in Bullshit Book Land prove the strength of their undying LURVE4EVA when they overcome obstacles. Like the women he has ruined. (Besides us, that is.)
Lor: Thank you. I was pretty proud of that nickname. I’m proud of you for foreseeing all the bullshit we’re going to have to endure.
Ana asks TGoSP who she is, and she says she’s nobody. Ana notices a soiled bandage around her wrist before TGoSP walks away. Ana is super confused but thankfully at least there is one smart(ish) character in this book, Ana’s Subconscious. She’s hissing and head rearing and points out the obvious: TGoSP has something to do with Grey.
Sweeney: I kind of feel for Ana’s Subconscious. She’s the only character I have any empathy for. As awful as this is, we can always set the book down (or throw it at a wall) and come vent to the internet. Her poor subconscious is trapped in there, watching this horror movie scene as Ana generally ignores her DANGER! warnings.
Lor: At the bar, Ana has her drink and chats with her co-workers, not because she cares about people at all, but because she “needs a distraction.” Speaking with Claire the Receptionist reminds Ana that she hasn’t spoken to any girls her age since Kate went on vacation. Oh… Kate, yeah. Her. Ana “absently” wonders how she is. Just because, fuck it, whatever. She had nothing better to do in that one second.
Sweeney: Like, you know, actually being engaged in a conversation with someone who isn’t Grey, or not being entirely self/Grey-centered for any amount of time?
Lor: Don’t be silly, girl. That would never happen.
A little later, Jack traps Ana at the bar and apparently he’s a “close talker.” Ana feels uncomfortable the entire conversation but thankfully, Christian Grey is never too far away when there are men in Ana’s personal space!
“I feel him before I see him. It’s as if my whole body is highly attuned to his presence. It relaxes and ignites at the same time- a weird, internal duality- and I sense that strange pulsing electricity.”
SRSLY? She can sense him?
Christian comes over to piss on his hydrant, and it’s all murmured “hey baby”s, soft kisses and awkward introductions.
“I’m the boyfriend,” Christian says with a small, cool smile that doesn’t reach his eyes as he shakes Jack’s hand. I glance up at Jack who is mentally assessing the fine specimen of manhood in front of him.
LOL. Oh, God.
1.) “Fine specimen of manhood,” for real???
2.) How would you know Ana? How would you actually know what Jack is mentally assessing?
3.) Everyone that looks at Grey is not assessing his manhood. Sometimes people look at people when they are talking to each other. Just, FYI.
Sweeney: See above; Ana doesn’t understand how conversations work.
Lor: Jack is all, “Ana did mention an ex-boyfriend,” and she thinks, “you don’t want to play that game with Fifty.” Mostly because the remainder of that pet name is, “Shades of Fucked Up.”
Grey clarifies that he’s no longer an ex, thanks to that sweet Sososorry I Beat You Playlist. He doesn’t mention that, but I like to every chance I can.
Grey is all, “let’s go baby,” because he’s the most affectionate with her when he’s doing it in a possessive way.
Since EL James sucks at writing and her plot points are thin, transparent and, oh yeah, STOLEN FROM ANOTHER WORK OF FICTION, it’s pretty clear to me that Jack isn’t a good guy. I’m not sure what his Twilight equivalent is but I’m putting my money on “a bad vampire.” In fact, we might have discussed this already. Anyways, the point is that even knowing all that, in a showdown between Jack and Grey, Jack comes off as the lesser jerk. Maybe I just hate Grey a lot.
Sweeney: We did discuss it, because it was my first thought when I read Jack. His Twilight equivalent is a totally contrivancey vampire named James whose sole objective in the book is to murder Bella. Like, first, they’re playing baseball and he smells her and is all, “Ooh, human! NOMS!” but Edward’s all, “NO, I LOVE HER! NO NOMS!” and then James seeks vengeance on Edward for denying him noms. Unfortunately for everyone, he is murdered before he gets his noms and the series continues.
Lor: This is the best summary I’ve ever read, ever. I love you.
They hop in Grey’s abductimobile (yay! Add “abduct” to anything and it becomes perfect for Grey!) and there is some stupid, flirty “your place or mine” exchange. Then, Grey changes the conversation completely:
“Your boss, Jack Hyde, is he good at his job?”
Oooh gosh. This can’t be good.
Ana is all, “why are you asking? I’m not interested in him.”
“That’s the point. He wants what’s mine. I need to know if he’s good at his job.”
“He makes one move, you tell me. It’s called gross moral turpitude–or sexual harassment.”
We interrupt my previous outrage to laugh and laugh and laugh at Grey even saying sexual harassment. LOL.
“I mean it. One move and he’s out.”
“You don’t have that kind of power.” Honestly! And before I roll my eyes at him, the realization hits me with the force of speeding freight truck. “Do you Christian?”
Christian gives me his big enigmatic smile.
“You’re buying the company,” I whisper in horror.
“You’ve bought it. SIP. Already.”
He blinks at me warily. “Possibly.”
“You have or you haven’t?”
Let’s just wrap our heads around this for a second. I mean, let’s not even talk about the impossibility of Grey conducting all of his business based solely on how he can best stalk his girlfriend. Let’s just talk about what this means:
1.) HE JUST BOUGHT THE COMPANY WHERE SHE WORKS. Why? “Because I can,” he says. “I need you safe,” he says. “It’s for your own good,” says ever abuser, ever. This is completely INAPPROPRIATE. FOREVER.
Sweeney: FOREVER AND EVER. I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND.
This was one of those moments that made me hate e-readers because I can’t throw an e-reader across the room. Guys, if this blog has taught you anything, it should be that some books deserve to be thrown at the wall.
Lor: 2.) They’ve been back together for ONE DAY. Was he at some point attempting to buy the business where his ex-girlfried worked? WHAT THE FUCK?
Grey is then all, “whoopsies are you mad at me?” and at least for her part, Ana is. I don’t really count on her staying mad but let’s enjoy the initial reaction:
“Of course I am mad at you,” I seethe. “I mean, what kind of responsible business executive makes decisions based on who they are currently fucking?”
Sweeney: We all know where this is going, but can we just take a moment to pause here at this completely accurate, legitimate point that Ana has raised? Can we just stop her here, because I am fairly certain it’s her high point as a character?
Lor: Grey’s stupid response is that they haven’t actually fucked, “in a long time” (uh, like 7 days?) and that he’s always wanted to go into publishing.
Uh-huh. Right. Sure you have.
This is all even more deeply disturbing if you will remember that Grey asked Ana to work for him, and she said no. SO HE BOUGHT THE COMPANY SHE DID END UP WORKING FOR.
I feel justified in this gif recycle.
Sweeney: This book requires all the finger gun gifs. Every single one ever.
Lor: Ana is pissed off for one more second but then Grey SMILES AT HER and that’s basically it.
“Just because I have a stupid damn grin on my face doesn’t mean I’m not mad as hell at you,” I mutter breathlessly, trying to suppress my high-school-cheerleader giggling. Though I was never cheerleader – the bitter thought crosses my mind.
LOLWHUT? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
Your boyfriend just bought the company you work for to keep tabs on you, BUT YOU HAVE A SECOND TO BE BITTER ABOUT NOT BEING A CHEERLEADER IN HIGH SCHOOL?
Sweeney: I can’t possibly get over how easily she let this go. I HATE HER SO MUCH. SHE IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST EVER, AND I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT.
Lor: They go inside Ana’s apartment and they switch gears from “look at this new way you’ve found to control me” to “YAY SEXY TIMES!” Ana tries to touch him but he backs off. She thinks the same thing I’m pretty sure we’ve all thought: why is it okay to touch him sometimes and sometimes not? Ana says she’s going to have use a marker to road-map his psychosis. Grey’s all, “not a bad idea.”
Please tell me that Crayola Body Mapping is not a thing that actually happens in the future. Please.
Grey asks if she’s been taking her pill, but no, she hasn’t. He left and she became uncared for. She stopped eating and taking her pill and also being abused, but he did that because he cared.
“You need to eat and so do I,” he murmurs, burning eyes gazing down at me. “Besides… anticipation is the key to seduction, and right now, I’m really into delayed gratification.”
Maybe you should’ve waited a few days then, TO BUY THE COMPANY SHE WORKS FOR. Asshole.
Anyways, Ana’s all, “I want to have sex with you,” and Grey’s all, “you need to eat food.” So, even though Ana wants to have sex, they go grocery shopping instead. I shit you not.
Back at the apartment, Ana feels almost normal as she starts cooking for him, but it also reminds her how very little she knows Grey. When she says that out loud, he assure her she knows him better than anyone. Ana thinks probably not better than MRS. RAPE, because you know, she raped him during his formative years.
Sweeney: I hear that’s a great way to get to know people on the murderer/stalker circuit. Like a mixer for psychopaths.
Lor: Ana keeps purposefully brushing up against Grey as they cook together until he can’t take it anymore and says they will eat later. They turn off the stove and the sex scene that follows is a lot of, “tell me what you want,” and Ana giving exceptional instructions like, “undress me” and “kiss me” and “make love to me.” Which, in case you were wondering, are also known as having sex.
Seriously, Grey keeps trying to get her to say, “vagina” and the most she can do is point to that general area. It’s super uncomfortable how embarrassed Ana is by sex and somehow society has decided that this is ideal erotica: women should be ignorant and embarrassed and men should be controlling and buy their SO’s company. Something like that.
I’d recap the sex more details, but it’s the same sex they’ve been having across a book and a little. Also, I think I’ve dealt with enough in this chapter.
Sweeney: He “produces” the foil packet again, though, and I laughed/cheered. His little factory worker manufacturing of condoms goes well with his delayed gratification thing.
Lor: He probably once dated a girl who worked at a condom plant. He bought that out too.
BECAUSE IN CASE YOU FORGOT, HE BOUGHT THE COMPANY SHE WORKS FOR.
Sweeney: Yeah, I was trying to do Ana’s whole selective-memory-for-actual-trauma thing and pretend that never happened.
Lor: Pfft. Good luck.
Murmur Count – 13
Whisper Count – 6
Favorite comment last post: With all the fuckery (note to Christian: this does not mean what you think it means) in this chapter, this is what got me: Christian finishes paying. How hard is it? You give them your credit card,. They come back with a piece of paper. You sign it & put away your card. End of transaction. Of course, my first thought was that the rest of us may never finish paying for having read this – even second-hand. -Reba