Chapter 3. Ana tells Kate about the photo shoot. Kate wonders aloud why he was at the store, but Ana is certain it was a business only transaction. Kate can’t believe Ana has Grey’s cell phone number; he obviously likes you! Ana says “no,” but thinks “yes,” and shut up already. They decide to line up José as their photographer – yes, this will end well.
Paul comes back into the scene and asks her about Grey, then on a date. She always says no, for he isn’t her type. “He’s no literary hero.” No one is. Is Grey? she ponders. Only if you consider the Marquis de Sade a literary hero . . .
José doesn’t want to do the shoot. Kate gets involved, which makes him agree. She is bossy. Now Ana has to call her crush – she’s so nervous, I just know she’s going to forget about the homework assignment. His voice changes as soon as he knows who’s on the other end of the line. He’s “looking forward to it.” Oh, is he?
Kate calls her on her blushing. This is not new, Kate, she’s been changing colors for two chapters now; you’re just noticing? Which is pretty much what Ana says, but bitchily. Now she’s irritated with her friend for pointing out that she like, LIKES him.
The images of Mr. Grey and his eponymous eyes, and “dark unexplored places” keep her from sleeping. May I suggest an electric toothbrush?
The next day, they travel to the swanky hotel, and are given a suite in which to shoot. Kate begins giving orders. Ana makes faces, thinking she’s so “domineering.” And yet, you obey. We.Get.It.
Enter Mr. Grey, who’s “so hot.” There’s that electricity again when they touch. There’s that blushing again. There’s that news van again. Grey is professional and polite with Kate, and cool with José. He only has eyes for the blushing virgin with the wannabe porn start name. In his mind, he already possesses her. Could you be more obvious, E.L. James?
They take photos. Ana devours him with her eyes. They take more photos. He asks Ana to accompany him out the door. He asks her if she will join him for coffee. Oh em gee, a date! No, wait, no, maybe he’s just offering it because you look a mess. She has to drive her friends, so she can’t. But that’s no problem for Old Moneybags here, for he has a chauffeur who can drop them off. So, it’s cool now, right? No, he doesn’t have to do that. She just has to switch cars with Kate first, which makes him smile. What big teeth you have – all the better to bite you with, darling.
When she goes to her friends, Kate and José are both disapproving. We know why José is, but Kate warns Ana not to trust him, for she feels he’s “dangerous.”Especially for someone like Ana, which is to say, a blushing idiot – I mean, innocent. “It’s just coffee,” Ana replies. Famous last words.
The duo meet again. Grey asks her about Kate and makes non-committal noises. She wonders what he’s thinking. Oh, probably that he doesn’t want you to spend time with her anymore. There’s only one controlling element in your life now, and he has a predilection for masking tape and rope.
They catch a couple canoodling in the elevator. This makes Ana blush, of course. Grey appears to be smiling. He takes her hand as they exit the elevator, which makes her giddy, because “no one has ever held” it. Are you fucking serious? You cannot possibly be serious. Surely, your hand has been touched before, but not romantically. And even this I find hard to believe, this Purity McVirgin character. The only way you could be this innocent in this day and age is if you’ve been locked away in a dungeon somewhere. But she goes to a public university, which is Co-Ed. At least make your porn plausible. Damn.
She likes English Breakfast tea. Of course she does. All because of the British literature thing, right? You couldn’t be more transparent if you tried. But yet, you don’t take milk. Not much of an anglophile, then. You’re just a poseur.
She fantasizes about him as he stands at the counter, but the most hard-core she gets is running her fingers through his hair. Just this sets her face on metaphorical fire, which fans into a four-alarm blaze when he returns and asks what she’s thinking about.
He wants to know if José is her boyfriend because of the way they smile at each other. Well, in HIS mind . . . She watches him peel the wrapper from his muffin. He asks if she “wants some,” and I don’t think he’s talking about baked goods.
He asks about Paul from the store, and she wonders at his line of questioning. He’s noticed that she seems “nervous” around men. She admits that she finds him “intimidating” and he replies that she should. See, now that’s creepy. She’s a mystery, apparently. Not really – guess you’re not as good at reading people as you thought, buddy. He mentions the blushing, and wonders what she’s coloring at all the time.
He’s “used to getting his own way . . . In all things.” A bit sinister, no? But, because he’s good-looking, we give him a pass? American Psycho comes to mind. He only lets family and close friends call him by his first name. Come on, Ana, slaves only say “master” and “sir.”
He asks about her family life, and if she’s uncomfortable, why doesn’t she leave? Instead, she begins babbling, and he probes her daddy issues. However, he bristles when asked questions about himself. They talk of Paris and England, which reminds our little chess piece she needs to move to a different spot on the board, under the pretense of studying for her finals.
Grey walks her back to the car. As they go along, she “feels like she’s been interviewed for a position.” Yes, just one you’ve not been in before.
He doesn’t “do” the girlfriend thing. Which makes her think he is, in fact, gay, and lied in the interview. No, dearest, he collects women, he just doesn’t date them. She’s thinking so hard about this that she falls into the street – causing Grey to call her by her first name, rescue her from an accident, and give an ultra-convenient way to advance the plot, for now he’s got her in his arms. “Oh, my,” she thinks. Remember this, as I’m sure it’s a catchphrase of some sort.
He touches her face, he stares at her - oh my. “And for the first time in twenty-one years, I want to be kissed.” So you’ve been asexual until now? It’s one thing to be a virgin and want it, yet another to suddenly want it now. Or is it because you feel like one of the heroines of the British novels you read?
Oh, wait, and I thought she was graduating. She’s only twenty-one. How does that work? And no ham-fisted attempt was made to tell us that she’s so smart she’s able to graduate early, so my wager is that Ms. James didn’t do her research about the American educational system. I know, this is essentially porn, so who cares about non-erotic details, right? But there are some who consider this a novel, and if you’re gonna have literary pretensions, do your fucking homework.