Fifty Shades in Fifty Days or a Booknista Writer’s Descent into one of the Bestselling Books of all Time: Chapter 25
Family, sex, and stalking: the second-to-last chapter of Fifty Shades of Grey.
This chapter begins with Ana lovingly taking her leave from her mother. They hug, they cry, they make fairytale analogies. Once on the plane, Anastasia’s sorrow from leaving her mom once again has her thinking about Christian’s childhood, and lack of good parenting. She thinks he doesn’t know what love is—or doesn’t have the capacity to give it to her—because he didn’t experience it himself until he was four years old. Now, I agree that a loving family is important, but I think Ana may be putting too much weight on Christian’s pre-kindergarten years. It’s possible Christian is just a dick.
Ana emails him before the plane takes off, and receives worryingly terse replies. Deciding to think about that later, she instead contemplates the empty seat next to her—it’s the only empty seat on the plane. Did Christian book the seat so that she wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone? Surely not.
He wouldn’t be that controlling. Right?
When Ana arrives back at Christian’s apartment, he’s upset, and talking to someone on the phone about a disappearance. Uh-oh. He catches her watching him and immediately rises…starts stripping…kisses her. Demands she shower with him. Informs her they’re going to be having shower sex. Well ok then!
While they shower (after the sex), Ana tells Christian about her new job. She’s surprised he doesn’t know already, since he’s such a stalker.
“I have a job.”
He stills, then smiles at me, his eyes warm and soft.
“Congratulations, Miss Steele. Now will you tell me where?” he teases.
“You don’t know?”
He shakes his head, frowning slightly.
“Why would I know?”
“With your stalking capabilities, I thought you might have…” I trail off as his face falls.
“Anastasia, I wouldn’t dream of interfering in your career, unless you ask me to, of course.” He looks wounded.
Later, after a nice dinner and a few glasses of wine, Ana asks Christian about the, er, situation of unknown unhappiness that brought him back to Seattle early. Christian, of course, is keeping his mouth shut about what exactly that situation is, and quickly derails the conversation with an order for Ana to meet him in the Red Room in fifteen minutes. Naked.
When he shows up, Ana’s ready and waiting. She’s salivating over his bare torso and feet, and can hardly wait for the sex. But Christian has other plans.
“This is about touch, Anastasia. You will not be able to see me or hear me. But you’ll be able to feel me.”
I frown – not hear him? How is that going to work? He turns, and I hadn’t noticed that above the chest is a sleek, flat, matt-black box. As he waves his hand in front, the box splits in half: two doors slide open revealing a CD player and a host of buttons. Christian presses several of these buttons in sequence. Nothing happens, but he seems satisfied. I am mystified. When he turns to face me again, he wears his small I-have-a-secret smile.
“I am going to tie you to that bed, Anastasia. But I’m going to blindfold you first and,” he reveals his iPod in his hand, “you will not be able to hear me. All you will hear is the music I am going to play for you.”
Okay. A musical interlude, not what I was expecting. Does he ever do what I expect? Jeez, I hope it’s not rap.
Ana is tied to the bed, her eyes covered with a blackout eye mask, earbuds playing Latin acapella religious music loud enough to block out Christian’s movements, while Christian himself plays her body like an instrument. Wow. I’m not sure if E. L. James was intentionally trying to play up the fallen angel religious symbolism (his name is Christian, after all) or if she just thought the music worked for the scene, but I rather like it, in a creepy kind of way.
The chapter ends on a sweet and only slightly creepy note: Ana asks Christian what he heard her say in her sleep. She’s relieved that she didn’t let out those three key words—but now Christian is suspicious. He knows she’s hiding something from him. And that’s not a good place for a guy with extreme jealousy and control issues to be.
“And you are hiding something, Anastasia. I may have to torture it out of you.”
Book Babe will be back next week with the final chapter. If you’ve just started reading, head back to Chapter 1 to get the full story.