Chapter Twenty Five
We pick up with Ana leaving Georgia and heading back to Seattle. She has a little cry with her Mum before she gets on the plane, and gets to thinking about motherly love.
“What does Christian know of love?” she speculates. “Seems he didn’t get the unconditional love he was entitled to during his very early years.” I wish the book actually went into this type of thing in more detail because at the moment it sounds like she’s conflating childhood abuse with sexual fetishes or preferences later in life. She’s basically saying that if you suffer from child abuse in your early life, you’ll grow up to be just like Christian Grey – which I’m pretty sure is not at all true.
Of course, Ana finds all that kind of stuff boring. She just wants to think about relationship kinda stuff. “It’s very simple: I want his love. I need Christian Grey to love me,” she thinks to herself as she sits herself down in her first class seat on the plane. Let’s get this straight – if you need someone to love you, you shouldn’t be in a relationship. If you need someone else’s love to define yourself, you shouldn’t be in a relationship. What’s that phrase – in order to love someone, you need to love yourself? Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Ana starts emailing Christian from the plane - pretty sure you’re not allowed to do that. Christian tell her as much, and he seems to be in a pretty formal mood.
“Crap. Okay. Jeez. What is eating him?” Ana panics. “Maybe Taylor’s gone AWOL, maybe he’s dropped a few million on the stock market – whatever the reason.” Yeah, probably dropped a couple of mill on the markets. He’ll have to make an angry phone call talking to some more imaginary people in hopeless business-speak to sort it out. Get some blue-sky thinking on the go.
The plane takes off and Ana starts to get a little suspicious of the empty seat next to her. “I become aware that once again the only empty seat is beside me. I shake my head as the thought crosses my mind that Christian might have purchased the adjacent seat so that I couldn’t talk to anyone.” THAT’S IT. That’s exactly what he’s done. I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if he’s booked every single seat on the plane to make sure she’s alone – that’s how weird and controlling and scary this guy is.
Ana emerges in the terminal later that day to find Christian’s bodyguard waiting with a sign for her. She has a bit of an awkward interaction with the guy, and remembers that Christian had to send him out to buy underwear for her once. “In fact – and the thought unsettles me – he’s the only man who’s ever bought me underwear. Even Ray’s never had to endure that hardship.” AGAIN with the stepdad stuff! Has anyone questioned E. L. James about Ana’s background at all?
Taylor (bodyguard man) drives Ana back to Seattle. Ana tries to find out what’s eating Christian, but all Taylor will give away is that Christian is ‘preoccupied’. Cryptic.
Ana asks the driver to put on some music. “Something soothing,” she specifically requests. “Pachelbel’s Canon fills the space between us. Oh yes… this is what I need.” Hahaha. Has anyone ever listened to Pachelbel’s Canon and thought, “Oh yes…?” No, me neither.
Taylor doesn’t even drive Ana home, he takes her straight to Christian’s place. Ana’s really nervous as she takes the lift up to his floor. “Why am I so nervous? And I know it’s because I have no idea what kind of mood Christian’s going to be in when I arrive.” Urgh. Ladies, if you panic before you see your boyfriend because you’re worried about the kind of mood he’ll be in, leave him!! I beg you!
When she reaches the top, Christian is talking on the phone, all agitated and tense. When he sees Ana, he hangs up on whichever important imaginary person he’s chatting to and strides right over to her.
“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 to 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.” Bet you can’t guess what’s going to happen next!
Christian orders – yep, orders – Ana to take a shower with him. They undress, he goes down on her a little bit, they have some 100% standard shower sex, and that’s it. You know, when I first heard about this book, I was promised a serious kink-fest. Everything that’s happened so far has been so lame and vanilla, I don’t know how anyone can pretend this is a book about BDSM.
They wash together in the shower and Ana starts telling Christian about her new job. By this point it’s less 50 Shades of Grey and more 50 Shades of Middle-Aged Marriage. Ana says she’s surprised Christian doesn’t already know where her new job is, based on the spectacular stalking abilities he’s showcased so far.
“Anastasia, I wouldn’t dream of interfering in your career, unless you ask me to, of course,” says Christian, looking ‘wounded’. Urgh, what a dick. I wouldn’t dream of interfering with your career… we’ll come back to this later.
Christian says he knows there are four publishing houses in Seattle, and Ana tells him her new job is at SIP. “Oh, the small one, good. Well done,” says Christian. Yeah, so glad you didn’t get a job at a big publishing house – wouldn’t want you getting any ideas about ambition or career progression. I want to keep you meek and mild-mannered and here with me, thanks.
Ana also has a request for Christian – she wants to know if he’ll go to Jose’s (Jacob – remember him) photography show in Portland. Christian gets all tense but agrees to go – as long as they take the helicopter. Ostentatious twat. Then he tells Ana to turn around and fucks her again. Sigh.
Later on, they’re sitting at the breakfast bar eating some pasta, sipping some wine, nice and casual. Ana asks Christian about the ‘situation’ that took him back to Seattle so early. He says it’s getting out of control, then shrugs her off and tells her to be ready in his playroom in 15 minutes. Ohmygodguys, just what we’ve been waiting for… another sex scene!
“You can get ready in your room. Incidentally, the walk-in closet is now full of clothes for you. I don’t want any arguments about them,” says Christian. ARGH.
“Car, phone, computer… clothes, it’ll be a damn condo next, and then I really will be his mistress,” muses Ana. Erm… do you want to tell her, or should I?
Ana goes to check her brand new wardrobe out. “It resembles Kate’s,” is her first thought. OF COURSE IT FUCKING DOES.
The narrative skips a bit, and then Ana is waiting in the Womb Room, kneeling on the floor wearing nothing but her knickers. Christian walks in and ignores Ana. He’s wearing his ripped jeans again.
He tells Ana to stand up and wants to reiterate a really important point. They don’t yet have a signed contract, but he wants her to remember their ‘safe words’. The safe words are yellow and red – yellow signifies that the sub is close to her limit, and red signifies that the sub won’t tolerate any further demands. Totally straightforward and fair.
Christian tells Ana that what he’s going to do to her will be intense. He says that he’s going to blindfold her and turn the music up, so she won’t be able to see or hear him – only feel. “A musical interlude, not what I was expecting. Does he ever do what I expect? Jeez, I hope it’s not rap.” OH MY GOD I SO HOPE IT’S A RAP.
He ties her to his red satin bed (with the posts that have outstanding craftsmanship, obv), puts an eye mask on her and puts some earphones in. She can’t move, she can’t see him, she can’t hear him. He puts on some music. I am absolutely gutted to report that it’s not rap. It’s some classical choral music. “Holy cow, a celestial choir,” notes Ana. If I have to hear the phrase ‘Holy cow’ one more time I might let a cow sit on me. End it all right now.
Christian starts rubbing her with something furry, and hitting her lightly with a flogger, which he said would bring the blood up to the surface and make her more sensitive. This scene goes on forever. Pages and pages of Ana panting and writhing. It’s kinda boring, but probably the closest the book has come so far to actually being sexy. Then someone has to ruin it.
Ana asks Christian what the music was that she was listening to. “It’s called Spem In Alium, or the Forty Part Motet, by Thomas Tallis. I’ve always wanted to fuck to it.” HAHAHAHA. Nothing like listening to some great choral music and thinking man, I would love to get laid to this. Hahahaha!
Christian starts rubbing her shoulders and Ana manages to get him to tell her what she said in her sleep that time (remember that? No me neither. I don’t care). He says she mumbled something about strawberries and a cage, and something about missing him.
Ana – who is obviously panicking that she might have said ‘I love you’ in her sleep – is relieved. “Is that all?” she asks. Christian gets suspicious. “What did you think you’d said?” he asks. Ana shrugs it off. Christian says he’ll have to torture it out of her. HE’S BEING SERIOUS THOUGH. RUN FOR IT.
Orgasm count: I’ve lost count and can’t be bothered to tot them up. Now I know how E. L. James must feel.
Only one more chapter to go! Thanks to everyone who has read up until now - I'm as yet undecided as to whether I'll carry on after this book (I'm sure you understand. The source material is SO bad) but I'm always eager to hear what people think of this! Thanks again x