50 Shades of Grey – Chapter Twenty One

Merciful heavens, we are in the dying chapters of this book at last. So we’ve just found out that Christian’s biological mother was a crackwhore, although why he doesn’t like to be touched remains a mystery, which I’m sure Ana will get to the bottom of in her own insensitive, blundering way. In this chapter I am holding out for another scene in the Red Room, if only so Ana can be gagged.

Read Chapter Twenty.
Read the whole lot on ‘The Fifty Shades Saga‘ page.

50 Shades of Grey
Chapter 21

…I understand why he lives here … so far removed from where he started … mission statement indeed.

I do not know why she says ‘mission statement’ here. It’s vaguely a business term, but that’s all the meaning I can muster.

I clamber out of bed feeling … well used. Yes, that would be all the sex then.

Hey. Leave the sarky comments to me.

That’s if I sign. My inner goddess glares at me in desperation. Of course you’ll sign.

I’m with the inner goddess. God help me.

In the kitchen, Ana bumps into an attractive blonde, Mrs. Jones, who is Christian’s housekeeper.

Why does Christian only have attractive blondes working for him?

If you were a billionaire playboy, wouldn’t you?

Are they all ex-subs?

Because nothing makes for a harmonious workplace like employing all your old sex slaves.

Not content to convey how important Christian is by having him say one or two business-y phrases on the phone, EL James dedicates two lengthy paragraphs to his stilted, one-sided conversation. It’s fine, I believe he’s a busy man, I do not need to know that ‘the interface’ is ‘missing something’.

“I just came in to say hi before I had a shower.”

Good girl. Be sure to check in before you take a dump, too.

…with one fluid movement, he clears all the plans and papers off his desk so that they scatter on the floor … and lays me down.

So, a) Christian Grey CEO has nothing but papers on his desk, b) he can remove all said papers in ONE MOVEMENT and c) this single movement also involves picking up and laying down a woman. He must be positively balletic.

…he mutters, producing a foil packet from his pants pocket … Oh, Mr. Boy Scout.

Bit creepy.

“Christ, Ana. You’re so ready,” he whispers in veneration.

Veneration!? Like Ana’s genitalia is worthy of the admiration commonly attributed to dead ancestors and God?

…he picks up the pace, thrusting faster … harder … and my whole body is moving to his rhythm, and I can feel my legs stiffening…

A rare moment of actual description, unadulterated by Ana’s THOUGHTS. Enjoy it while it lasts.

I cry out a wordless, passionate plea as I touch the sun and burn, falling around him…

This is in reference to her earlier allusions to Icarus. In case that went over your head. Although for that to happen you’d probably have to lie down and iron your skull flat.

Wow … that was unexpected.

It really wasn’t. You pretty much knew an orgasm was on the cards.

He’s so earnest, so impassioned – a zealot.

Apparently EL James set herself the challenge of using religious terms in this chapter. Fair enough, she was probably very bored at this point.

There’s an odd conversation in which Ana and Christian exchange empty words and misunderstand each other. I skimmed it. It was basically nonsense and, whatever he says, she’s going to analyse it to death and draw some sort of utterly unrelated conclusion.

I look to my subconscious. She’s whistling with her hands behind her back and looking anywhere but at me. She hasn’t got a clue, and my inner goddess is still basking in a remnant of postcoital glow. No – we’re all clueless.

Ana, seek help.

“Have you bought you air ticket [for going to Georgia]?”
“No…”
“I have a jet … it’s at your disposal.”

Cue gratuitous refusal of entirely legitimate offer.

“Thank you for the offer. But I’d be happier taking a scheduled flight.”

Dear God, why? If a guy offered to cook you dinner, would you say, “No, thank you, I’d rather chow down on this British Rail pasty”?! Take the effing jet.

“You never did tell me why you don’t like to be touched.”
“I’ve told you more than I’ve ever told anybody.”

It’s not enough! It will never be enough! Tell me, please! And love me. LOVE ME! Aaarrrgghhh….

How could he mean so much to me in such a short time?

That’s what FALLING IN LOVE is.

He’s got right under my skin … literally.

Nice.

New scene: Ana is going for her second interview of the day, for the job she really wants, at a local publishers. The women she encounters are described as ‘bohemian’ and ‘floaty’, and the male interviewer has a ponytail, earrings (yes, plural) and no tie, because everybody who works in publishing is an alternative, artsy, hippy type. Let the clichés abound.

Slowly, I relax and begin to enjoy myself.

Another entry in the litany of Ana Steele’s unbelievable character traits: she enjoys interviews.

Jack … appears to only favour American literature written after 1950. Nothing else. No classics…

Smug bitch.

“And where do you see yourself in five years’ time?”
“Copy-editing, perhaps? Maybe a literary agent, I’m not sure. I am open to opportunities.”

Brilliant. If she gets employed on the back of brief, vague, unenthusiastic answers like this, I’ll … I’ll hit something.

Interviews seem such artificial situations …

That’s because they are.

…everyone on their best behaviour … Did my face fit?

I don’t know, did you put it on properly?

She returns home and Kate is there. She asks Ana a question and cocks her head to one side, which is Christian’s trademark move, although basically everyone has done it in this chapter, and EL James insists on using the word ‘cocks’ every time.

Gah! Why is everyone reminding me of my Fifty Shades?

Jesus wept.

“The guy who interviewed me was unnerving, though…” I trail off – shit, I’m talking to Megaphone Kavanagh here. Shut up, Ana!

God, Kate, you’re such an evil cow.

She closes the distance between us and takes my hands…
“…whatever issues you’re having with Mr. Moneybags, you can talk to me. And I will try not to wind him up…”

Oh man, I was having such fun ragging on Kate, and then she goes and spoils it by being a good friend. Again.

Ana tells Kate she’s fallen for Christian. Kate says she should tell him. Introducing the L-word, I think, is a fantastic idea.

Kate gazes at me with pursed lips and narrowed eyes, rather like my subconscious – all she needs are the half-moon specs.

And all you need is a lobotomy.

“We haven’t been doing much talking lately.”
“That’ll be the sexing!”

The only acceptable use of ‘sex’ as a verb, is when determining the gender of something. The type of genital gazing Ana and Christian have been doing is purely recreational, and thus ‘sexing’ cannot be legitimately used here. Plus, it makes Kate sound drunk.

I realize that while I’m away, I will have to run through all our conversations again and see if I can pick out telltale signs.

Oh, please let me help. That sounds like FUN.

Okay. Well, I’ll write him an e-mail.

Good, you do that. I’m going to vomit into this bowl and then drown myself in it.

“The morning was exemplary for me, too, in spite of you weirding out on me after the impeccable desk sex.”
“‘Weirding’ is not a verb…”

Sure, everyone knows ‘weirding’ is a noun, referring to an old-fashioned type of bell pull.
As in, ‘She tugged on his weirding and was surprised when it tinkled.’

“Language evolves and moves on. It is an organic thing. It is not stuck in an ivory tower, hung with expensive works of art and overlooking most of Seattle with a helipad stuck on its roof.”

Have you had some sort of brain haemorrhage?

Kate and Ana arrive at the airport. Kate is off to Barbados with her family and Elliot, and Ana’s off to see her mum in Georgia. The mum who missed her graduation, because her husband had a sore leg. Boo hoo.

“Okay, Miss Steele. You’ve been upgraded to first class.”

Tell me you’re not going to be surprised by this.

“What?”

Apparently you are.

Ugh. I narrow my eyes. … Damn Christian Grey.

‘Gratitude’ is seemingly not a word in Ana’s dictionary. I bet ‘gratituding’ is though.


Read Chapter Twenty Two.

Why not let me know what you think? You can buy the first book here, or the entire trilogy, if you’re a glutton for punishment. Ironically.

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