Updated on May 24, 2015
50 Shades of Grey – Chapter Three
During the last chapter Grey visited Ana’s DIY store and offered to do a photo shoot to accompany his interview. This is that photo shoot. Will he look as hot on film as he does in real life? What sort of trousers will he wear? Will Ana stand up long enough to go for a coffee with him?
50 Shades of Grey
Ana reveals the fantastic news: Grey wants his photo taken.
Kate is ecstatic. … Her curiosity oozes through the phone.
Anastasia moves the phone away as Kate’s curiosity lands on the floor with a splat and slops onto the skirting board.
“The question is, who’s going to do them and where.”
First, that’s two questions. Second, a question mark is required.
I hug myself with quiet glee, rocking from side to side, entertaining the possibility that he might like me.
You just need a straitjacket to complete the look.
Later, Paul comes into the stockroom to talk to Ana.
He shakes his head as if to clear it.
Oh wow, they all do it. See, Ana, how weird it looks from the outside?
Whenever he’s home he asks me on a date, and I always say no. It’s a ritual.
Bloody hell, one of those friendly, reliable men. Get rid of him, quick.
Paul is cute in a wholesome, all-American boy-next-door kind of way…
Ugh! He’s cute too? How do you put up with this shit?
…but he’s no literary hero, not by any stretch of the imagination.
Yep. Screw lovely, attractive men. Give me a Darcy-esque arsehole or a bloke with his wife locked in the attic any day.
Ana calls Grey to arrange the photo shoot.
I can almost hear his sphinxlike smile through the phone.
There’s so much wrong with this sentence I’d rather faceplant the desk than ever read it again. At least said smile isn’t oozing through the receiver.
I am restless that night, tossing and turning, dreaming of smoky gray eyes … long legs … and dark, dark unexplored places.
Good to know Ana is as subtle and complex a human being in her dreams as she is when awake.
The next day Kate, Ana, José and his friend Travis, all go to a hotel to photograph Grey. They arrive early, set up, and then Grey arrives and the shoot can begin.
Holy crap! He’s wearing a white shirt, open at the collar, and grey flannel pants…
Not sure that merited a ‘holy crap’, but OK.
My wish has come true: I can stand and admire Grey from not so afar.
You could just say ‘nearby’.
After the shoot Grey invites Ana out for coffee.
Maybe he thinks you haven’t woken up yet, my subconscious whines at me in a sneering mood again.
It’s your subconscious, which means – by definition – that you are not aware of it.
…I murmur apologetically, twisting my hands and fingers in front of me.
The muscle spasms are now affecting her limbs! Maybe it’s some kind of debilitating disease. Please.
A laboured couple of paragraphs follow in which Grey explains in too much detail the new driving arrangements which will allow Ana to go for coffee with him.
I am going to have coffee with Christian Grey … and I hate coffee.
Obviously don’t drink one then. Wait, forget that. Forcing down warm liquid is a skill you’ll probably need later on.
What are we going to talk about? What on Earth do I have in common with him? … What is he thinking?
Who would have thought that someone with such a capacity for stultifying conversation could have such an intensely annoying inner monologue? Oh wait, I did.
…my knees shaky, my stomach full of butterflies, and my heart in my mouth … I feel giddy, and I tingle all over.
Sounds like flu to me.
We walk four blocks before we reach the Portland Coffee House, where Grey releases me to hold the door open so I can step inside.
Oh, this is good stuff. But I want to know more. Does he wait to close the door behind her? Who reaches the counter first? Are they inhaling and exhaling at the same time?
There is now a lengthy conversation about what she would like to drink, whether she wants food, and even a description of the teabag – the sort of pointless shit most writers don’t even bother writing, let alone cutting out. Just shut up and screw each other, please.
His long fingers deftly peel back the paper, and I watch, fascinated.
Yup, Ana wishes she was a blueberry muffin.
“I find you intimidating.” I flush scarlet, but mentally pat myself on the back for my candor, and gaze at my hands again.
Well done. Clever girl. Have a treat.
“I think you’re very self-contained,” he murmurs.
Am I? Wow … how am I managing that?
I have no idea. Grey must be blind. That’s the only way he can have failed to notice the fact you twitch all over and constantly change colour.
“Tell me about your parents.”
Why does he want to know this? It’s so dull.
Ana knows it. We know it. Shortly Christian Grey will know it too and this soporific book will end.
“And your mother remarried?”
“You could say that.”
“So you’re reading 50 Shades of Grey?”
“You could say that.”
“You’ve interviewed me once already, and I can remember some probing questions then.”
In years to come I know I’ll need intensive therapy to not feel this embarrassed every time I recall the moment [I asked if he was gay].
I would certainly need therapy for saying one thing to one guy, who I saw myself having no future with whatsoever. Once I paid a shop assistant with the wrong change and I’m still waking up with night sweats about it.
“[My mom] has Bob now. I just hope he can keep an eye on her and pick up the pieces when her harebrained schemes don’t go as planned.”
Shame Bob wasn’t around when Ana’s mother schemed to have a baby.
I really shouldn’t look at his mouth. It’s unsettling.
What’s more, his eyes are torturous, his hands are traumatising, and if she sees him naked she’ll probably have to be committed.
More pointless exposition about Ana’s parental situation during her childhood.
“You didn’t want to live with your mom?” he asks.
This really is none of his business.
THEN DON’T TELL HIM.
She tells him.
“I’ve never left mainland USA.”
So now we’re back to banalities.
Banalities like THE REST OF THE WORLD.
He cocks his head to one side, running his index finger across his lower lip … oh my.
Cocks, fingers and lips, all in one sentence. Clever, clever writing.
“It’s England I’d really like to visit … It’s the home of Shakespeare, Austen, the Brontë sisters, Thomas Hardy…”
… and E. L. James. If only Stephanie Meyer were British too. Then we’d have all the greats.
He smiles his odd I’ve-got-a-whopping-big-secret smile.
Gone are the ghosts of smiles! Now is the age of smiles-that-have-ridiculously-long-names-and-thus-make-a-sentence-laboured-and-trite.
“Come,” he commands, and holds his hand out to me. I take it, bemused, and follow him out of the coffee shop.
Know your place. Also, they’re holding hands?
I feel like I’ve been interviewed for a job, but I’m not sure what for.
God damn it, that’s why when I phoned Grey House they told me the role of subservient female sex slave had been filled.
“Do you always wear jeans?” he asks out of the blue.
Oh dear God. I’m propping my eyes open with matchsticks.
“Do you have a girlfriend?” I blurt out. Holy crap – I just said that out loud?
Shit, he’ll probably kill you now. By the way, are you still managing to walk? It’s just we haven’t heard about your leg movements in a while and I was wondering.
“No, Anastasia. I don’t do the girlfriend thing.”
Oh … what does that mean?
It means he doesn’t do the girlfriend thing.
He’s not gay. Oh, maybe he is! He must have lied to me in his interview.
No. It means he doesn’t do the girlfriend thing.
And for a moment, I think he’s going to follow up with some explanation, some clue to this cryptic statement…
It’s not cryptic. It means he doesn’t do the girlfriend thing.
I walk forward, and I trip, stumbling headlong into the road.
Ah, that’s better. I didn’t think you’d stay upright for long.
Ana almost falls into the path of a cyclist but Grey, who seems to have been holding her hand this entire time, pulls her backwards and into his chest. Like OMFG!!!!
I inhale his clean wholesome scent … I inhale deeply.
“Are you okay?”
Fine, just having a good sniff.
…the fingers of his other hand softly trace my face, gently probing, examining me.
How to treat someone who has almost been hit by a cyclist. Step One: let them smell you all over. Step Two: stroke their face.
And for the first time in twenty-one years, I want to be kissed.
You haven’t ever even wanted to be kissed? I despair.
Read Chapter Four.