Chapter 17. Ana has a symbolic dream of flames and moths, or something equally heavy-handed and clichéd. She wakes up to find Grey has her pinned, even in sleep. She touches his back, which stirs him awake. He’s late, he’s late, for a very important date; no time to paddle your behind, he’s late, he’s late, he’s late! He leaves hurriedly, and tells her again not to drive her old car.
Ana emails him about her feelings related to his punishing her. She was “shocked to feel aroused” by it. And then the guilt came in, so she’s confused. He replies, essentially telling her to let go and embrace these feelings, and remember, they’re consenting adults, and what happens in Greyskull stays in Greyskull. She tells him if she “listened to [her] body, [she’d] be in Alaska by now.” Grey replies that she was fully aware of the situation, and didn’t tell him to stop at any point, so . . . plus, if she runs away, he can find her. More annoying emails about stalking, and not following rules because she hasn’t signed, et cetera. Both of you do your work and shut the fuck up already!
She thinks about their exchange as she drives to work in her new car. He’s a “patronizing son-of-a-bitch,” and where is this language coming from? Since she’s been deflowered, her cursing is heavier, but she still uses her fifth-grade cache of expletives as well. Can she just be a submissive like he wants? Can she accept all his baggage?
At work, a courier comes; Grey bought her a Blackberry, so that he can reach her at all times via email, as “this is [her] most honest form of communication.” They banter stupidly via phone. A Blackberry? Really? Why not an iPhone? Anyway, the doctor will be making a house call on Sunday. Oh em gee, he’s so “formal and stuffy.”
Taylor comes for her old car, of which she had nothing personal inside. He tells her Grey is a “good man,” but then, he’s never been his sub. That would have been more interesting, too. SO many better plotlines, wasted for this shit. Anyway.
José comes over later, bringing food and alcohol. Then Elliot shows up, who is very demonstrative and “immodest,” to Ana’s eyes. You’re going to be a sub to a man with control and boundary issues, so which is worse, really? José and Ana are uncomfortable, so they go to the bar. When she comes back, Kate and Elliot are going at it somewhere, and there’s an email from Grey, asking where she is. Because she said she’ll email after work and she didn’t, so he called her five times and left a voicemail, which says that he’s “not a patient man,” and when she doesn’t do as promised, he worries, which is a human emotion he was never programmed to deal with adequately.
She calls him. They talk blandly. She calls him “sir” a few times. I don’t care.
And now, Kate and Ana are moved in, with Elliot’s help, and Kate and Elliot are sweet on each other, which is “icky” to Ana. What are you, five? Are you updated on all your “cootie shots?” But she’s jealous, because that’s what she wants with Grey, who only enjoys secret beatings.
Grey sends them a bottle of champagne, attached to a balloon shaped like a helicopter. Kate doesn’t understand the latter, so Ana tells her about her flight to Seattle. Kate wants to be sure Ana will be okay while she’s gone, because Grey worries her. Don’t worry, Kate, you’ll never see her again, except on milk cartons.
It’s Sunday. Her inner goddess, blah blah, subconscious, blah, shut up already and get on with it. Grey sends her another email, giving her all the access codes. She thanks him for the champagne, and he’s envious of the balloon being tied to her bed. This is conducted via email, and takes up way too much time in this book.
Also taking up too much time? The constant insipid inner monologues and outer dialogues where a sentence would suffice, especially since this is a first-person narrative. For example, the author takes an entire page to describe how Ana feels and how she greets Grey’s assistant. It’s really unnecessary and pisses me off.
Ana tells us it’s been a week since she’s been here – has it been that short a time? It feels like I started this book a year ago. Of course, Christian looks good, because these guys are never ruffled or sweaty in an unsexy way.
“The familiar charge . . . sparking slowly in my belly, drawing me to him.” Oh, so you have a magnet in your vagina? He tells her to come – I mean, to the couch. You are very confusing, Grey!
Grey shows her their picture in the paper, where she’s listed as “friend.” They share a laugh over it. Her body “comes alive” at his touch, and suddenly, she’s Peter Frampton. And then he asks if she’s eaten, and she’s like, “Food? What’s that? I thought I was here for sex, dirrr.” But the doctor will be here soon, which, of course, Ana forgot about. I’m willing to bet this Dr. Greene is the one who deflowered Grey at fifteen – calling it now.
He tells her that she’s invited to dinner at his mother’s, which will be weird, because he’s never done it before. Anyway, the doctor is here before we get an answer from her, and he asks her if she’s “ready for some contraception.” Who SAYS that? There is NOTHING remotely romantic or erotic about that! She goes to meet the doctor, and Grey says that he’s glad she’s here and that she’ll soon be naked.