Having largely ignored the boring workings of his “business” and sent the books off to Ana, Christian has finally been able to relax and get a good night’s sleep. He argues with his reflection in the mirror for a bit – first insisting that he is just happy to have closure, but then forcing himself to admit that he really wants Ana to respond to the gift.
Well dude, it’s a gift, so you are guaranteed a perfunctory thank you at minimum.
Christian reads the paper while his housekeeper makes him an omelet. Then Elliot calls. Remember Elliot? Christian’s brother, infamous gadabout, and relentless philanderer? Him. He calls. Elliot needs to get out of town for the weekend because his new flavour of the week girlfriend is “all over [his] junk.” Yeah. Men hate that.
Christian suggests staying in Portland for some brotherly hiking and biking. Totally not because that’s where Ana lives and he might ‘accidently’ run into her. Elliot agrees, blissfully unaware that he is probably going to get ditched as soon as Christian hears from Ana.
They drive to Portland, and Elliot sleeps all the way. Christian muses that Elliot must be ‘fried.’ That word…
Well, it pisses Christian off so he blasts his music to wake Elliot up. Christian and Elliot reminisce briefly about cycling with their dad, before Christian spirals into self-loathing, about his failed relationship with his adoptive father. Of which there is NO evidence in the first three books. Their relationship appears warm and cordial, but Christian still insists, “I’m the one who didn’t live up to his expectations.”
Um, OK dude, whatever you say.
They get to Portland, go for a one paragraph bike ride and settle into the hotel room to watch some baseball. Christian obsessively checks his phone for notifications from Ana but gets none. Elliot remarks that his super clingy flavour of the week has called five times and texted four times. Christian jokes that maybe she’s pregnant, which causes Elliot to nearly pass out with shock (let it be known that these are some easily shocked men).
Elliot, when he recovers enough to speak, responds thusly:
“Besides, I haven’t known her that long. Or that often.”
Yeaahhhh…that’s not how it works. It’s frightening to me that anyone writing erotica doesn’t have a solid grip on the mechanics of sex.
After some manly sports and a few cold, manly brewskis between manly men manly Ana…I mean regular Ana finally calls. She’s drunk, and it sounds like some sort of party behind her.
Oh! It’s this chapter! The one where Ana gets wasted after her exams, drunk calls Christian from the bar and it so shocks delicate unworldly Christian that he has to track her cell phone, stalk her at the bar, scold her for being drunk, and carry her back to his hotel room.
Buckle in; we’re through the looking glass here people. Also: we’ve buttered our bread, and now we have to lie in it.
So Ana calls, and it’s clear that she’s drunk. She refuses to tell him where she is, or whom she is with. Christian is filled with ‘anxiety.’ Uh-huh. Is that what the kids are calling it these days? So he’s anxious. Ana is drunk and alone in a bar in Portland and THAT’S NOT SAFE. Dude. You’ve known this girl for a grand total of eleven days. You are not *that* concerned for her safety.
Ana continues to refuse to tell him where she is and it makes him REALLY MAD. Then she laughs at how bossy she is and woo! He’s furious.
Ana hangs up, and Christian does the sane logical thing. He calls he back and tells her in an ‘arctic’ voice, “I am coming to get you.”
Not. Creepy. At. All.
He plays it off to Elliot like he has to give some girl a ride home, so they head out to look for Ana. Christian calls Welch and tells him to track Ana’s cell phone even though it is totally illegal and he acknowledges that. For whatever reason, they leave as soon as Christian calls Welch but before Welch can call back with Ana’s location. So, I guess they are just going to rage-drive aimlessly around Portland until they get a location. Sure. Whatever.
The next scene is inside the bar, so they must have gotten the info they needed. They immediately spot Kate at the table with a crowd of men. Christian asks where Ana is, but Kate isn’t really paying attention because she’s fallen in convenient plot device with Elliot. Kate waves Christian off towards the back door.
Outside Christian finds Ana being manhandled by Jose and rushes to intervene, because who knows what this drunk cad has planned for Ana!
That is all.
Jose backs off and Ana shows her thanks by vomiting majestically all over the parking lot. Dear, virtuous white knight Christian holds Ana’s hair while she pukes and notes disdainfully that Jose is grossed out. Well duh. It’s vomit.
“Boy, she’s got it bad.”
Thaaaat’s not what that means. But whatever.
Ana gets done puking, falls into Christian’s arms and apologises. Christian practically titters with glee. “Okay, let’s have some fun,” he thinks. He makes her spell out all the things she is sorry for: calling, vomiting, being drunk. Then he lays into her about the evils of drink.
Christian even wonders briefly if Ana is an alcoholic. How would he know? They met 11 days ago. But the main takeaway is that getting drunk to celebrate your graduation is BEYOND THE PALE. Those are his words. This is a guy who did in fact attend college. He knows what college kids get up to. But that’s not appropriate behaviour for a young lady!
Also keep in mind this is a guy who had a few beers himself before driving out to find Ana. But that…that’s okay. Totally, 100%, A OK.
Christian gathers Ana up and tries to steer her out of the bar and into his car. That could only be less dreamy and romantic if his car was a beaten up white van with grimy blacked out windows. Holy rape van, Batman!
Christian’s plan is briefly thwarted because Ana insists that she tell Kate where she is going. This gives Christian a sad. He thinks:
“She’s like oil on my troubled, deep, dark waters.”
Wat? What does that even mean? She covers you up with a rainbow-y film? She kills all your native wildlife? Help me out here.
Back to Kate…Kate is on the dance floor so Christian tells us that the only way to get to her is TO DANCE! They can’t just elbow their way over: they have to dance. This had better be one epic fucking Bollywood style dance number in the movie because why the hell include it otherwise?
So they finally tell Kate, and then Christian steers poor drunken hapless Ana into his car. She passes out on the way, so he just picks her up and carries her. The fact that Ana might need medical attention doesn’t even begin to entertain the vague possibility of crossing Christian’s mind for even one second: he just stuffs her in the car.
Right about now you’re probably thinking that this couldn’t get creepier, right? But you’d be wrong, because this happens:
“I head to the Heathman [that’s the hotel], telling myself I’m doing this for her sake. Yeah, tell yourself that. Grey.”
So all that bluster about being anxious? And all the “it’s not safe,” malarkey? Yeah. He just admitted that was crap. He’s just gathered a drunken helpless girl into his car for his own selfish reasons. And because frankly, who’s going to stop him? He’s filthy rich.
Back at the hotel Christian strips Ana and puts her to bed. But it’s ok because he only imagines having sex with her. Plus he’s only staring at her unconscious body so he can guesstimate her clothing size. See? There’s no cause for concern.
We end the chapter with Christian emailing his butler with an order for all new clothes for Ana in those guesstimated sizes. We can almost buy that this is not totally inappropriate. Except Elliot texts Christian to say that he hopes Christian gets laid because Christian sooo needs it.
And of course Christian answers NO WAY! This girl is unconscious! The very thought sickens me!
Ha ha! Fooled you.
“I so do, Elliot. I so do.”