Saturday, June 30, 2012


So besides my 50 Shades of Grey posts this blog has been very quiet. There's been a reason for this. I have been doing NaNoWriMo (or, more specifically NaNo Camp) this month. The whole point is to write 50 000 words in a month. The goal is a book, but most people don't seem to actually finish the rough draft it's self, just aim for the world count. You haven't heard from me other then the 50 Shades posts because I have banned myself from all the things. No writing if it isn't for my book, no video games, no reading, no drawing. If I was home, I was writing. I've done NaNo before, back in November, which had a huge community focus with lots of write ins where you could meet other writers and talk non-stop about your books and it was wonderful. I "won" in that I hit 50k, but I didn't finish the book. It was an awesome experience, and one I really can't recommend enough. It kicked my ass into gear again with my writing, which was something that I had been neglecting for years.

Going into camp was a little different. I knew what I was getting into, for starters, but there were a few things that threw me for loops. One being I was supposed to be out of town every single weekend this month*. I was also working again, which I hadn't been the first time around in November. I also two days before I was actually supposed to start writing tossed my previous idea (one I had been working on for months) for a new one. I got the thing in surprisingly functional condition in time to start. The last was what really made this hard for me. I knew I could hit 50k. It would mean sleep deprivation, it would  mean driving The Boy insane because no, I can't snuggle, I must write all of the words! And what do you think about this scene playing out this way? The real goal for me was the finish the book it's self. Something that I have been trying to do since I was old enough to write and never have.

This month, I have done it. I have written, start to finish, a book that is actually coherent. 60 000 words. 29 chapters of wizard fights, hell beasts, and Bad Things happening to my cast. I know it isn't done. I know things I want to edit and clean up, and I already have a few proof readers/editors who have volunteered or been voluntold (if you had a friend who went to school for editing you'd offer resume padding to them too!). Despite knowing that this project is far from over, I can't even begin to describe how good it feels to have done it. To be able to say "I wrote a book". This post isn't just me bragging about how awesome I am (though the answer is "Very" for those of you wondering) though.

I know I'm not the only person who is a writer that struggles to sit down and put the damned words on the page. I know this because when I did NaNo the first time in November, I met other people with almost the exact same problem. The whole thing has changed my life, as corny as it sounds. If you love writing but struggle to find the motivation, there is another "camp" in August, and I urge you all to try it out, or wait till November (more of a community then). You can find me on the main NaNo site or NaNo camp as Clevernamepending if anyone is jumping in, I'd love to hear from you!

So now I have a book. I don't think I can get published, but I want people to be able to read it anyways, otherwise what's the point? So, once my book goes through it's editing, I'll be putting it up one chapter a week here, and I hope that you will read it and give me feed back and thoughts on it when it goes up (I'll put up an announcement for it as well as what day it will be updating once the editing is done).

I also want to take a moment to say "thank you" to a few people publicly.

First and foremost, to my very good friend Alex who is the one who turned me onto NaNoWriMo in the first place. Alex has also for years been one of the few people who I can sit down and talk to about writing, and books, and character motivations endlessly and not get strange looks from. Alex, you Mad Scientist you, never change.

Next I'd like to thank Mr. Wildman who I met at a write in back in November and has been stuck with me ever since. He's helped me through so many plot snags, asked me questions I never thought to ask myself about my books and characters, kept me motivated to hit my word goals, and is always up for a write-in (even though I hurt his word count which I still think he is still a little bitter about). I should also thank him for letting me swipe his character from Call of Cthulhu as a secondary character for this book, as he added so much depth to it all for me. So Trevor, I'm sorry if I nerfed your word count while beating you horribly in word-sprints, but thanks for putting up with my antics anyways.

I should also thank one of my on-line friends, mAc, who did something in an RPG to my character that sparked off the whole idea for my book. mAc, you're a bad, bad man, but thank you for the inspiration.

And last, but not least, I should really thank The Boy. He's listened to me not shut-up about writing, dealt with me being totally absorbed on our long car rides every weekend (what, you think I didn't use that time to plot things?), not want to go out (though we still did honest! I wasn't THAT bad!), coming to bed way later then I should because "I'm just going to finish off this chapter first!" and just generally being in "Writer mode" with patience (if not glazed over eyes). I know you always look forward to the end of the month when I NaNo, but thank you for understanding and supporting me throughout it <3.

*One weekend I was supposed to be camping I bailed on because I wasn't feeling well. Every other weekend of June I have been gone Friday-Sunday.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

50 Shades of Grey, chapter 5. The chapter that makes me hate all the things.

So I read the chapter and write these posts at the same time, but this I'm putting in as a warning. This is the chapter that drives me to drink. You've been warned, continue at own risk. 

Also, if people belittling rape is triggering for you, skip to the second half of this post.  

Chapter 5. Ana comes to (which is the closest thing we get to a time jump between chapters so far) and is confused and disoriented. She isn't in her apartment, and she's down to t-shirt and panties. Why? Because Grey didn't want to risk the leather upholstery in his car, so he took her to his hotel room because it was closer. Classy! Again, Kate should be loosing her fucking shit right now, where ever she is. Ana should be hearing her phone chiming off in frantic panic as Kate realizes she wasn't taken home like the Greys said she would be. Enter Grey, who confesses yes he undressed her, but no, it's cool, nothing happened, she was comatose, he's not into that. I can't be the only one who's horrified by this, right? He is then all justified about having tracked her number because he got the software online (IT'S STILL AN INVASION OF PRIVACY AND YOU'RE A SUPER CREEP!) and, actually, I'll just post the excerpt of him defending his tracking her down. ...and thirdly, if I hadn’t come to get you, you’d probably be waking up in the photographer’s bed, and from what I can remember, you weren’t overly enthused about him pressing his suit,” he says acidly. That's right, he's throwing her near rape in her face. Then they talk about him being a knight (A dark one, he insists.) because after a dude who saved me from a molester rubs my nose in it, my first thought is “OH BUT HE'S SO DREAMY” and arg. ALIENS. It's the only answer. These two are aliens. 

He then moves on to scolding Ana for drinking on an empty stomach, and again, he's being high handed and condescending. About her near rape, blaming her for it when she was out with her two best friends. She had every reason to think she was safe, you dick weed. She even points this out, which leads to this incredibly depressing passage.

I would have been fine. I was with Kate.”
And the photographer?” he snaps at me.
Hmm… young José. I’ll need to face him at some point.
José just got out of line.” I shrug.

Yesterday he was her supposed friend, now he's just “out of line” rather then “in need of a police report filed against him” which he IS. Ana doesn't get that mad at Grey for lording the fact that she nearly got raped by one of her best friends over her, because aliens, and Grey continues to run hot and cold, going from condescending scolding to smoldering mischievous smiles and teasing touches. Then he goes and showers and we're left with Ana thinking about her lady boner and how much she wishes she “was his” (his words, then hers) and comparing him to literary heros and knights, like Lancelot. Sorry, but Lancelot was kind of a skeeze, really, you know, banging his King's wife and all. He emerges from the shower and we get more lady boners Michel­angelo’s David has nothing on him. No, really. This is a line in a best selling book. Ana has gone from wanting Grey intellectually, to despite being a virgin, wanting to bone him. I don't take any issue with a female lusting, but, at least in my experience, virgins tend to be a little more careful and not go from "I want you" to "I want you inside me". There's usually a few middle steps in there. Anyways, she goes to shower and starts masturbating with his body wash and- what, don't believe me?

I reach for the body-wash and it smells of him. It’s a delicious smell. I rub it all over myself, fantasizing that it’s him - him rubbing this heavenly scented soap into my body, across my breasts, over my stomach, between my thighs with his long fingered hands. Oh my. My heartbeat picks up again, this feels so… so good.

She wants him to finger blast her. We're torn from this by the announcement of breakfast arriving. Ana gets dressed, with the clothes Grey sent his man servant to buy, and we're given a description of the bra and panties in the bag.

They are an exquisite design of some fancy European lingerie. All pale blue lace and finery. Wow. I am in awe and slightly daunted by this underwear. . What’s more, they fit perfectly. But of course they do.

Really? This doesn't seem terrifying to you? Did they size you as you were comatose? And I'm sorry, but I would be uncomfortable by someone buying something like that for me in this situation. Fresh underthings, hellz yeah, but if we're getting into high end lingerie, that starts setting expectations, and even if I DID want to bone the dude, I think the assumption would still be a huge turn off. Ana doesn't think of it. Instead she thinks of “buzz cut man” Grey's assistant in the store where he bought it and flushes at THAT. Ana, you're doing it wrong.

She finishes getting dressed, and everything is a perfect fit, naturally, before venturing into the OPULANT suit (no, really, they keep using that word.) when finally she thinks of Kate, and that she MUST be freaking out about her. It's cool, though, Christian texted Elliot.

Oh no. I remember her fervent dancing of the night before. All her patented moves used with maximum effect to seduce Christian’s brother no less! What’s she going to think about me being here? I’ve never stayed out before. She’s still with Elliot. She’s only done this twice before, and both times I’ve had to endure the hideous pink PJs for a week from the fallout. She’s going to think I’ve had a one-night stand too.

This really bothers me. I am all for casual, consensual, responsible sex. Apparently, despite seeking it out, Kate has then been miserable that he didn't want to be her boyfriend, and this characterization just doesn't fit with what we were given before. Kate seems just about right to be tearing up the dace floor and trolling for the occasional bit of man meat to burn off some stress from running the school paper. It also really bugs me that a text from the guy who said he was going to take your BFFF home saying “it's cool I still have her” doesn't concern Kate at all. I would have grabbed a cab and grabbed my friend myself, because leaving your unconscious, drunk, friend with a near stranger who you know is attracted to her, ignored her choices and opinions, and has made unwelcome gestures on several occasions is NOT something a good friend does. It's not something a shitty friend does, either. Grey has arranged for Ana to have tea- just how she likes it, and the table is heavy with food, because he wasn't sure what she liked, so he ordered the whole menu. YEAH LET'S WASTE SOME FOOD WOO!

You’ve already given me the books, which, of course, I can’t accept. But these clothes, please let me pay you back.” I smile tentatively at him.
Anastasia, trust me, I can afford it.”
That’s not the point. Why should you buy these for me?”
Because I can,” his eyes flash with a wicked gleam.

You entitled, privileged, obnoxious ass. Then Ana asks about the book, and I continue to hate Christian Grey.

Well, when you were nearly run over by the cyclist – and I was holding you and you were looking up at me – all kiss me, kiss me, Christian,” he pauses and shrugs slightly, “I felt I owed you an apology and a warning.” He runs his hand through his hair. “Anastasia, I’m not a hearts and flowers kind of man, I don’t do romance. My tastes are very singular. You should steer clear from me.” He closes his eyes as if in defeat. “There’s something about you, though, and I’m finding it impossible to stay away. But I think you’ve figured that out already.”

Ana is too hung up on “He can't stay away from me! Squeal!” and tells him not to. He's all “YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GETTING INTO!” and I imagine he's about to take her over his knee and educate her with a ping pong paddle. He then asks her about her plans, and she mentions she has to start packing for the move to Seattle with Kate, and he keeps asking general interest questions. He suggests she apply for an internship at his company, as well, because getting the girl you want to bone to work for you is SUPER CLASSY GUYS!

Where is he going with all these questions? The Christian Grey Inquisition is almost as irritating as the Katherine Kavanagh Inquisition.

Anastasia Steele just hates it when people show an interest in her life.

I’d like to bite that lip,” he whispers darkly.
Oh my. I am completely unaware that I am chewing my bottom lip. My mouth pops open as I gasp and swallow at the same time. That has to be the sexiest thing anybody has ever said to me. My heart beat spikes, and I think I’m panting. Jeez, I’m a quivering, moist mess, and he hasn’t even touched me. I squirm in my seat and meet his dark glare.
Why don’t you?” I challenge quietly.
Because I’m not going to touch you Anastasia - not until I have your written consent to do so.” His lips hint at a smile.

Okay, so we'll have a few more chapters before they bone, but I want to point this out. He has twice now told her to apply to be an intern at his company when he has every and all intentions of taking her to bed. He is picking his interns based on who he wants to bone, which makes it even creepier that all his receptionists and interns we've met thus far have been blond and “perfect”. Has he tried to figure out which ones are into BDSM and take them all to bed, too? Also “quivering, moist mess”. Enjoy that one. I sure as hell am. Moist. One of the few words in the English language that almost all women hate, and here it is, trying to be sexy. I'd also like to know WHY Grey is glaring at her, and how a glare can be dark unless backed up with murderous intent. 

Also I initially wanted to poke fun at the written consent being a huge turn on for him and ramble on, but apparently that's a thing when BDSM comes up to avoid domestic abuse charges, and considering who Grey is, not wanting his Subs to be able to run to the cops if they're pissed at him being moody and sulky isn't bad form.  

Anyways, he insists that he has to acquaint her with his habits personally, and invites her over to dinner (surprisingly, giving her an obvious choice in the matter) and refuses to do so then and there because he's enjoying himself and imagines that Ana won't want anything to do with him once he reveals he's a freaky sex demon with penises on his head instead of horns from where he sold his soul to the devil. She doesn't want to wait to find out his big secret and asks to do so tonight. He agrees and arranges a helicopter to get from Portland to Seattle. I almost wrote a helicopter joke last chapter with his timing, but I realized odds are he was still in town. I can't believe he's actually pulling out a fucking helicopter... I need a drink.

So he scolds her into eating the rest of her food because he doesn't like wasting food when- YOU ORDERED THE EVERYTHING! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH IT?! 

Where did you sleep last night?” I turn to gaze at him still sitting in the dining room chair. I can’t see any blankets or sheets out here – perhaps he’s had them tidied away.
In my bed,” he says simply, his gaze impassive again.
Yes, it was quite a novelty for me too.” He smiles.
Not having… sex.” There – I said the word. I blush – of course.
No,” he shakes his head and frowns as if recalling something uncomfortable. “Sleep­ing with someone.”

That's right, he cuddled up with the comatose Ana last night. BUT GUYS IT'S TOTALLY COOL HE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING! And I need another drink. Ana apparently wasn't creepy enough earlier, however, and after her hair is dry...

I eye Christian’s toothbrush. It would be like having him in my mouth. Hmm… Glancing guiltily over my shoulder at the door, I feel the bristles on the toothbrush. They are damp. He must have used it already. Grabbing it quickly, I squirt toothpaste on it and brush my teeth in double quick time. I feel so naughty. It’s such a thrill.

That's right, she's all excited about swiping his tooth brush. She mentions before this that she's sad she couldn't watch him sleep, probably because she wanted to steal some of his hair. So Ana goes about her mundanes-ness of finishing getting ready and gathering her shit and then after waiting for him to finish a conversation on his black berry (although she mentions earlier he has a macbook, so I'm surprised that he isn't an iPhone user, too) and they then walk silently to the elevator, not talking, just stealing glances and smiling and biting lips. We then get the first bit of erotic actions, which I feel obliged to inflict upon you all.

Oh, fuck the paperwork,” he growls. He lunges at me, pushing me against the wall of the elevator. Before I know it, he’s got both of my hands in one of his in a vice-like grip above my head, and he’s pinning me to the wall using his hips. Holy shit. His other hand grabs my ponytail and yanks down, bringing my face up, and his lips are on mine. It’s only just not painful. I moan into his mouth, giving his tongue an opening. He takes full advantage, his tongue expertly exploring my mouth. I have never been kissed like this. My tongue tentatively strokes his and joins his in a slow erotic dance that’s all about touch and sensation, all bump and grind. He brings his hand up to grasp my chin and holds me in place. I am helpless, my hands pinned, my face held, and his hips restraining me. . I feel his erection against my belly. Oh my… He wants me. Christian Grey, Greek god, wants me, and I want him, here… now, in the elevator.
You. Are. So. Sweet,” he murmurs, each word a staccato.

Pins her with his boner, and I cut it off there as he leaps off her when the elevator opens and generic business dudes enter the elevator. There are naturally a few things I must pick apart in this. 1) We KNOW you've never been kissed like this, this is your first kiss. 2) How would you know what an expert mouth explorer as to an armature one feels like Ana? 3) really, all this, and you're using the word belly? 4) How is this sweet? Unless you mean she is physically sweet? I think that's a carry over from when it was Twilight fanfiction.

So, he comments on her having brushed her teeth, and Ana confesses to having borrowed his tooth brush, which prompts a “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH YOU?” sort of thing that leaves me feeling icky. He's older then she is, and in a very different life place, and trying to get power over her by getting her to work for him. The whole thing is so, so creepy.

And that is the end of chapter five, the one that drove me to drink. I suspect it's all down hill from here folks. See you next week, and as per usual, please, leave comments, questions, and suggestions, as I'm new to this and, well, I can use the input/encouragement. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

50 Shades of Grey, in which characters stop making sense.

Remember what I said about all the chapters running into each other sequentially? We pick up with Kiss me damn it! I implore him, but I can’t move. I’m paralyzed with a strange, unfamiliar need, completely captivated by him. He's totally not going to. You know how I know? Because this is Twilight fan-fiction, and while I have never read Twilight, I have read Mark Reads Twilight, as well as the wonderful Ana Mardol deconstructions of the book. E L James is keeping pretty close to Smeyer's characters. She has “Ana” constantly tucking her hair behind her ear, or peering through it, or her eyelashes. I want to know how you “peer” through your own eyelashes. I just spent like thirty seconds trying. I failed. We also have Grey being endlessly fascinated by Ana's most banal behaviors (She drinks tea?! ZOMG!) and his supposed “mystery” is “creepy and douchy” and as such Grey will be all “NO I AM A DANGEROUS MAN! NOT ACTUALLY A VAMPIRE THOUGH!” (still betting he sold his soul to the devil) so hey, as far as fanfiction goes, James is doing a bang up job.

Anastasia, you should steer clear of me. I’m not the man for you,” he whispers. What? Where is this coming from? Surely I should be the judge of that. TOLD YOU! Also, I hate to say it, but I agree with Ana. Fuck you if you think you get to choose what's best for her, Grey. She is an adult. She can vote and drink and if she likes you and wants to act on it, you better have a reason for brushing her off besides making her choices for her. He then lets her go and holds her at arm's length with all sorts of lingering contact because he obviously WANTS to be with her, but for what ever tragic reason can't. While Grey is being tortured by his inner turmoil, Ana is freaking out in her head over the rejection.

And the only thing I can think is that I wanted to be kissed, made it pretty damned obvious, and he didn’t do it. Really? When did you make it obvious? When he had her all wrapped in his arms after saving her from the rampaging cyclist was she just puckering up, staring intensely at him? Because I can now side with Grey being all “Uhhh, you should stay away from me. FOR YOU! Totally stay away from me because I am bad for you. This is totally all about you”. However, he doesn't just back away slowly, hands held in front of him, and once he's far enough away turn tail and run, so I am tragically led to believe that Ana did not make it “pretty damned obvious” to HIM, just in her own head. Then again, considering how she's been acting, he probably got the idea.

How could I have misread the situation between us so utterly? I need to get away from him. This is one of the first good ideas you've had, Ana! He has been doing what Kate, if I give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she isn't evil, was worried about. He was running around holding Ana's hand and buying her tea and asking her all these intense “getting to know you” questions, and then he turns it all off and is inconsiderate about it, messing with her head. No shit she'd want to get away from him. Grey ignores this and is all “HERE COME INTO THE HOTEL TO CALM DOWN YOU NEARLY JUST DIED BECAUSE THAT CYCLIST! GOOD THING I WAS HERE!” and, once again, dude, it's a fucking bike. I almost feel that he's the one trying to make it seem more dramatic not for the sake of the narrative, but for the sake of trying to make Ana feel like she had been in very real danger so she'd feel more indebted to him. Still, this scene makes me like Grey better then his Twilight counterpart, Edward, because after saving her, his response to her thanks was “Dude, I wasn't going to just let you get squashed by a rampaging cyclist” while Edward would have been all “GOD WHY ARE YOU SO CLUMSY BE MORE CAREFUL SO I DON'T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT YOU LIKE THIS!?” and made her “near death” experience all about him.

So Grey walks Ana to his car, and they have a conversation that could be had by two humans. She thanks him for doing the shoot, and he clearly WANTS to say something and is SO CONFLICTED about it, no, really. “Anastasia… I… ” He stops, and the anguish in his voice demands my attention, so I peer unwillingly up at him. His gray eyes are bleak as he runs his hand through his hair. He looks torn, frustrated, his expression stark, all his careful control has evaporated. He doesn't say what ever it is that he's so torn and frustrated and stark about, which I imagine is something to the effect of “I want to throw you over my desk and do things that are illegal in half the country, but you are so innocent and virgin-y! I don't know if I could be the one to corrupt you!” and then run off into the night to sacrifice some babies to his lord Satan. Seriously, being into BDSM – not that dangerous. Being into devil worship and periodically needing the odd virgin sacrifice – both more dangerous to Ana, and more interesting.

So Ana once out of sight of Grey in the under ground garage starts bawling because she's stressed and frustrated and when no one had ever done it for you before and that person turns you down it sucks extra hard. I'll give Ana this one. She's studying for her last exams ever, has been roped into this insanity that has been causing extra anxiousness and splitting her attention, and if she fails any of these exams she won't graduate. She's feeling frail and frayed, and so I'm not throwing any stones at our narrator for getting disproportionately weepy at getting rejected by a dude she's met three times. She's overwhelmed by life and this is just One More Thing. Besides, I actually like how she ultimately walks away from it.

Stop! Stop Now! - My subconscious is metaphorically screaming at me, arms folded, leaning on one leg and tapping her foot in frustration. Get in the car, go home, do your studying. Forget about him… Now! And stop all this self-pitying, wallowing crap.
I take a deep, steadying breath and stand up. Get it together Steele. I head for Kate’s car, wiping the tears off my face as I do. I will not think of him again. I can just chalk this incident up to experience and concentrate on my exams.

Fuck it. I've got exams. Screw this noise”

So she goes home to Kate, who's been kind of worried this whole time because she really didn't trust Grey not to fuck with Ana's head. I go back to being annoyed with Ana here.

Ana what’s wrong?”
Oh no… not the Katherine Kavanagh Inquisition. I shake my head at her in a back-off now Kavanagh way – but I might as well be dealing with a blind, deaf mute.
You’ve been crying,” she has an exceptional gift for stating the damned obvious sometimes. “What did that bastard do to you?” she growls, and her face – jeez, she’s scary.
Nothing Kate.” That’s actually the problem. The thought brings a wry smile to my face.
Then why have you been crying? You never cry,” she says, her voice softening. She stands, her green eyes brimming with concern. She puts her arms around me and hugs me. I need to say something just to get her to back off.
I was nearly knocked over by a cyclist.” It’s the best that I can do, but it distracts her momentarily from… him.

So, first thing first, how do you shake your head in a “back off” sort of way? I can think of a few facial expressions that would go with that to tell me to back off, but honestly, I can't figure out how a shake on it's own can convey this. Moving on, I think it's pretty shitty how Ana is treating Kate here, both in speech and her internal monolog. A few chapters ago you call her your dearest friend, but when she notices you've been crying, something you never do because you're SO STRONG AND SUFFER SILENTLY (ugh), and you're annoyed at her for it? If my friends noticed I had been bawling (which never happens unless I'm caught in the act, because I don't “look” like I've been crying after, I guess?) and just didn't say anything, they'd be shitty friends. Kate is responding how I'd expect the typical BFFF character to. “WHO HURT YOU LET ME STRING THEM UP BY THE GENITALS!” and Ana, rather then just saying “Listen, I really don't want to talk about it, but I'm fine, honest. Just over whelmed with exams and stuff” which would all be honest, half lies to Kate. Kate continues to be concerned because even if their relationship is heavily influenced by Ana doing things for Kate, Kate still cares about her. Ana's response is MORE ANNOYANCE. I think I'm supposed to take away that Ana is Strong! She doesn't like relying on other people! Which is fine, honest, I don't think everyone needs to talk about everything all the time, but even if you don't want to talk about it, you're a jerk for belittling your BFFF for their concern.

Anyways, Ana weasels out of the conversation, and Kate, getting that she doesn't want to talk about it offers to show Ana the article, which she's proud of. This plays into my not getting their relationship. They're apparently super close, but Ana doesn't want to talk about her issues or feelings ever to Kate, and Kate caring is seen as intrusive, meanwhile, Kate is constantly sharing what's going on with her, and there's an expectation that Ana will be all over it (and she is). Despite not wanting a reminder of Christian Doesn't Want Me Grey, she looks at the article (though the picture, really) and deduces that the reason he rejected her was because he was sooooo pretty and rich and wonderful and she's just plain old every girl Anastasia Rose Steele! Gag me.

We get a time jump to the girls finishing their last exam, and being excited about FREEDOM! IT IS TIME TO PARTY! Hell, Ana is feeling saucy, despite just having finished university, she's never gotten drunk, perhaps tonight is the night for that! I want to comment on this before I keep going on and snarking. She isn't shown as a non-drinker, so I think it's more she has ONE maybe TWO drinks and then that's it, but I'm surprised she made it through all of university as an English major without ever once getting drunk if she drinks at all. Anyways, she goes home, Kate going for the bubbly again (does she have a stash? How rich IS her family?) and debating what to wear for their adventures that night. Ana has a package waiting for her, unmarked, with no sender. She thinks it's from her folks. I think it's something super personal and thoughtful from Grey. Inside there is a card that reads:

Why didn't you tell me there was danger? Why didn't you warn me?

Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks...

I recognize the quote from Tess. I am stunned by the irony as I’ve just spent three hours writing about the novels of Thomas Hardy in my final examination. Perhaps there is no irony… perhaps it’s deliberate. I inspect the books closely, three volumes of Tess of the D’Urbervilles. I open the front cover. Written in an old typeface on the front plate is:
London: Jack R. Osgood, McIlvaine and Co., 1891.’
Holy shit - they are first editions. They must be worth a fortune, and I know immedi­ately who’s sent them. Kate is at my shoulder gazing at the books.

Ana is, reasonably, confused. Grey had just told her to stay away from her, then sends her incredibly valuable first edition, nearly mint condition classic books (We are told by Kate that the only one she can find online is 14k, and Ana's are MUCH nicer so they MUST cost more!) and the two girls are, reasonably, puzzled. Grey is rich, fine, but he isn't stupid (I think.). He knows Ana is a university student, and therefore broke. He can't expect her to just think “OH MY GOD THIS IS THE SWEETEST MOST CONSIDERATE THING EVER!” she's going to be shocked and confused and uncomfortable with him spending that kind of money on her. So, Grey has now asked her out, held her hand, and spent a morning getting to know her before warning her from staying away, he's dangerous. So she does. And then when she doesn't come crawling to him, ignoring his warning (having taken it for rejection rather then a warning on her behalf) he sends her these priceless books – with another warning? I also don't recall her ever giving him her home address (or know why Kate would have done so herself) so that adds another layer of creepy to this. Did he use his connections with the university to find out where she lived? The whole thing is a show of power and wealth, and he's supposed to be mysterious, but honestly? It reads as incredibly creepy and invasive to me. He told her to back off. She did. He has now decided to enact PHASE TWO anyways. He is showing no respect for her choices, or ability to make them. He first tells her to stay away, because he isn't right for her. So she took his advice (admittedly by misreading it) and then he decides he wants her after all, and starts his pursuits again.

Ana responds reasonably.

I don’t know, and I don’t care. I can’t accept these from him. I’ll send them back with an equally baffling quote from some obscure part of the book.”
The bit where Angel Clare says fuck off?” Kate asks with a completely straight face.

Ana and Kate toast their freedom from post secondary school, and the new adventures that await them in Seattle, and we move on. Now it's later that night and we're at the bar. I'll drop you in where things get creepy.

So what now Ana?” José shouts at me over the noise.
Kate and I are moving to Seattle. Kate’s parents have bought a condo there for her.”
Dios mio, how the other half live. But you’ll be back for my show.”
Of course, José, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” I smile, and he puts his arm around my waist and pulls me close.
It means a lot to me that you’ll be there Ana,” he whispers in my ear. “Another mar­garita?”
José Luis Rodriguez – are you trying to get me drunk? Because I think it’s working.” I giggle. “I think I’d better have a beer. I’ll go get us a pitcher.”

So, Kate really is just a spoiled princess who's Mommy and Daddy buy her a condo. I get the feeling it will end with something like this and we have Jose dropping stereotypical lines because he's brown (HIS NAME GOT THE POINT ACROSS ALREADY!) and his whole character thus far seems to be revolving around LOOK IT HE'S A MINORITY! Which is something that his Twilight counterpart, Jacob, was also subjected to, and it bothered me when S Meyer did it, and it bothers me when James is doing it now. That aside, he's being kind of date-rapey here. “HERE DRINK MORE!” and then he get's grabby and is whispering in her ear and honestly, this doesn't need to go much further to get terrifying. Anyways, Ana wanders off, drunk, on her own, in a crowded bar (which is a state I've been in myself many times before, but I'm apparently a more experienced drinker then Ana) which is also a bit strange. I suppose her friends think there are enough people about, and Kate's watching her drink, so what evs! While she waits in line to go to the bathroom, she drunk dials Grey with the intention to ask him about the books, because she needs to be drunk to be pushy enough to demand an answer! She asks, he ignores her, instead conferring that she's drunk and demanding to know where she is. I'll cut it short, but here's the gist of it.

You’re so… domineering,” I giggle.
Ana, so help me, where the fuck are you?”
Christian Grey is swearing at me. I giggle again. “I’m in Portland… s’a long way from Seattle.”
Where in Portland?”
Goodnight, Christian.”
I hang up.

So, bets on how long it will take Grey to GET to Portland and find Ana because she is DRUNK and therefore needs protecting? We established that it was a long drive before (about 3 hours according to google maps). Then again, we're not told where Grey is, he could still be in Portland? Nah. He'll take the helicopter. He's fancy like that. Ana keeps going on about ZOMG I'M SOOO DRUNK which, dude, we GET it, and when people are drunk, they don't DO that! ALIENS! THIS IS NOT A CONVINCING DEPICTION OF A MODERN 21 YEAR OLD GIRL! Grey calls her back and is all “I AM COMING TO GET YOU EVEN THOUGH YOU DIDN'T ASk ME TO AND REFUSED TO TELL ME WHERE YOU ARE WHICH WOULD IMPLY THAT YOU DON'T WANT ME TO BUT I DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR CHOICES SO I AM COMING TO GET YOU!” and Ana is all “Pffft. What evs, I didn't tell him where I am” and continues to tell us how DRUNK she is as she goes back to her friends and then out for some air, no one goes with her. So now she's alone OUTSIDE the bar. Cue rapist in 3... 2...

No José, stop – no.” I push him, but he’s a wall of hard muscle, and I cannot shift him. His hand has slipped into my hair, and he’s holding my head in place.
Please, Ana, cariña,” he whispers against my lips. His breath is soft and smells too sweet – of margarita and beer. He gently trails kisses along my jaw up to the side of my mouth. I feel panicky, drunk, and out of control. The feeling is suffocating.
José, no,” I plead. I don’t want this. You are my friend, and I think I’m going to throw up.

CALLED IT! Though, smells sweet? Beer + margaritas = not sweet. Now cue Grey.

I think the lady said no.” A voice in the dark says quietly. Holy shit! Christian Grey, he’s here. How? José releases me.

Remember what I said before “At least it wasn't a roving band of rapists?” I take it back. I'm sure the plot will try to redeem Jose later, or Ana will protest “But he was drunk!” but honestly? Not okay even if he IS drunk out of his mind. You said NO and he kept pushing. I will be PISSED if/when they try to excuse this, because I really hate how often literature tries to hand wave things like date rape into being “okay when drunk” or not a big deal. Date rape IS a big deal, and in no situation is it okay. When books do things like dismiss it, they feed into Rape Culture, and as a woman who has felt unsafe with pushy drunk guys at a bar who thought they were being cute because "no means try harder" I'm continually frustrated with it. I'm hoping we'll see Ana loosing her shit over the fact that someone she trusted was, against her will, starting to get intimate with her, even after she said no. I doubt she will, though. The whole thing just makes light of the trauma women who've been through this sort of thing by using it for dramatic tension, but it's a common enough trope that I can't judge too harshly for it, as much as I want to. At least we're getting a slightly more realistic depiction of rape as it's someone Ana knows as to random strangers. Anyways, moving on before I get all of the rages. Ana then chooses that moment to barf, and Jose leaps back in horror. Grey steps forward, leads her to a better place to heave, and holds her hair back. I'm a little sad Grey turned up now, as it would have been spectacular if Jose, still kissing her as she protested, was puked upon.

So Grey magically knew Ana would get into trouble if she were drunk and shows up to rescue and care for her. She ruins the flower bed by vomiting that way that you only really can when drunk, and after that she just dry heaves (though if she was still going the way the narrative suggests, there would be bile, and now I'm having flash backs to a Christmas party I really don't want to remember. Arg.) and Christian calmly stays by her side, holding her up (which doesn't seem like a great idea to me. Let the poor thing knee down and pray to her deity of choice, Grey) and keeping her hair out of the way. Jose is hanging back and watching, basically to underscore how Jose - Bad Grey - Good. 

Turning, I glance at José who looks pretty shamefaced himself and, like me, intimidated by Grey. I glare at him. I have a few choice words for my so-called friend, none of which I can repeat in front of Christian Grey CEO.

This I appreciate. She isn't just saying “Well he was drunk” she's already realized he was no friend, and I hope she follows through on this and doesn't just forgive him once the rage wears off. He slinks off, and Ana feebly apologizes to Grey, feeling embarrassed and humiliated about this night.

We’ve all been here, perhaps not quite as dramatically as you,” he says dryly. “It’s about knowing your limits, Anastasia. I mean, I’m all for pushing limits, but really this is beyond the pale. Do you make a habit of this kind of behavior?”

Ah, there's the Edward I know and hate that he's based on. She was just getting molested by one of her best friends, threw up violently, and is just in rough shape. Because that doesn't happen at almost every college party to at least one person ever. His response to her trauma? Scolding her for getting too drunk. Had she been sober and Jose tried that, she still would have been helpless, he's continually described as all muscle, and she's “scrawny and pale”, so you know what? Her being drunk wouldn't have made a difference. HIS being drunk maybe, but hers? She'd have had the same end result. Also, fuck you, getting throw up drunk is not “beyond the pale” when you're 21 in the USA. That is when you become legal and are LEARNING your limits, you dick weed.

Ana is upset at his chiding as well, but is still too down trodden and feeble to fight back, so he “notices her dizziness” and scoops her up to take her home.

How did you find me?”
I tracked your cell phone Anastasia.”
Oh, of course he did. How is that possible? Is it legal? Stalker, my subconscious whispers at me through the cloud of tequila that’s still floating in my brain, but somehow, because it’s him, I don’t mind.

I don't care he is cute and charming and made of wonderful, stalking – not okay. Breaking the law because you're “worried” about them? Not okay. Yes, he came in the nick of time to save the day, but he's been incredibly invasive and creepy this whole time about it. The type of guys who do this in real life wouldn't, I hope, get such a warm reception. His every move is screaming “danger!” and not “sexy danger” but “he's going to tie you up in his basement danger to never be seen or heard from again” danger.

So they go back in the bar so she can find and talk to Kate, which is totally futile, as Grey's brother is already on it. Still, they go in, he forces Ana to drink some water and is all Mr. Bossy-Pants (I've tricked drunks into chugging water by telling them it was gin on more then one occasion, so, won't judge here, though I want to.) When they cross the dance floor, rather then, you know, just skirt through it, Grey pulls Ana close and they dance across and find Kate in full seduction mode on Elliot, Grey's brother.

But I never got to talk to her. Is she okay? I can see where things are heading for her and him. I need to do the safe sex lecture. In the back of my mind, I hope she reads one of the posters on the back of the toilet doors. My thoughts crash through my brain, fighting the drunk, fuzzy feeling. It’s so warm in here, so loud, so colorful – too bright. My head begins to swim, oh no… and I can feel the floor coming up to meet my face or so it feels. The last thing I hear before I pass out in Christian Grey’s arms is his harsh epithet.

And Grey's last line closes out this chapter and sums it up. We've got the character who's characterizations often just scream “HE'S BROWN!” being put in the date rapist role, the romantic lead being a creepy pushy stalker, and Ana's getting all lady boner over it. Also, Kate. Kate, you suck, I'm sorry, but I am giving you no more credit. Earlier today you advised Ana to tell Grey to fuck off. His brother turns up and you're too busy trying to fuck him to think “Wait, why is Grey here, and should I be letting him take my drunk – now unconscious, friend off, alone?” just because he can get women with his impossibly good looks doesn't mean he wouldn't seize on an opportunity like this. You were also willing to accept this information from a second hand source, not going to check that yes, your friend is, in fact, alright, and willing to go with this, or in a state of mind that she can make that call? You're only protective when it's convenient, which just loops around to you like having Ana around for yourself, not out of any deep love for her.

Either way, moral of the story: Don't let dudes walk off with your super drunk/passing out friends on their own. Most rape isn't strangers on the street, it's people who know the victim. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Elliot: So, hi, I'm Christian Grey's also incredibly attractive little brother.

Kate: Why yes, yes you are.

Elliot: Your friend drunk dialed my brother so he's freaking out and had to rush to her rescue. He's convinced that she's messy drunk, not fun drunk, so he's gonna take her home. Don't ask how I knew who you were, Grey has pictures of all the people around his current target, so we can know who to look for in situations like these.

Kate: Cool. Wanna dance?

Elliot: We are both attractive and fair haired, which sets us up to be a good beta couple. Sure. Can we fuck later?

Kate: Can we!

It gets worse next chapter kids. It gets so much worse. As always, love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and I'll see you next Thursday!