Kate, naturally, thinks that Grey was there just because he wanted to see Anastasia. Anastasia points out that obviously that isn’t the case, he’s just here because he’s visiting the farming division at WSU. I may be a little biased because I’m reading this book, but really, Anastasia? A coincidence like that, and you honestly think it’s just a coincidence? I mean, I know you have low self-esteem, because Bella has low self-esteem, but seriously, get a clue.
Anastasia explains that Grey wants to do a photoshoot, and reveals they can easily set this up because she has his cell number.
“The richest, most elusive, most enigmatic bachelor in Washington State just gave you his cell phone number?” (page 32)
Okay, James, listen up. People do not talk that way. Read the first seven words of that sentence over again. Have you ever heard anyone in real life say something like that? Have you ever even heard someone use the word “enigmatic” in casual conversation, because I sure haven’t.
Kate says that obviously Grey likes her, and Anastasia entertains the idea and starts believing it just a little. They decide to ask Jose to take the pictures because their normal photographer is out of town. Then Paul rolls in and asks Anastasia out. It’s kind of his thing. She turns him down, which is kind of her thing. So let me get this straight: Anastasia has appallingly low self-esteem and thinks of herself as lame and unattractive. And all three men we have met so far want her. Sexually.
Why does this sound so familiar?
Kate has to bully Jose into accepting the position because he mostly photographs locations, not people. Okay. That was a brilliant idea. You have a once in a lifetime opportunity for a photoshoot with an immensely powerful and wealthy man and you choose a guy who only has experience shooting landscapes. Genius.
Anastasia calls up Grey to sort out the time and location and he sounds downright seductive on the phone, which makes her start gushing a bit and blushing furiously. Kate notices this and accuses her of liking him.
The next day they get down to Portland for the photoshoot. Kate’s very controlling and demanding and setting everything up. I wonder if she’s supposed to be Alice? Or is it Jessica?
Eventually, Grey shows up:
Holy crap! He’s wearing a white shirt, open at the collar, and grey flannel pants that hang from his hips. His unruly hair is still damp from a shower. My mouth goes dry looking at him…. He’s so freaking hot (page 36).
You know, I didn’t think I’d ever read descriptions that are worse than marble skin, Adonis features, and sparkling, but James has actually managed to achieve it.
They shake hands and it’s like a current running through her. Her breathing becomes erratic. It’s a very powerful scene.
Jose takes pictures. After a bit they finish and Grey asks Anastasia to walk with him, so she does, and he promptly asks her out to coffee. She’s a little taken aback, and starts making excuses, but Grey effortlessly handles each of them until she’s forced to agree. Kate, when Anastasia tells her, is a little bit harder to convince, because she thinks that Grey is dangerous for her. Because she’s so innocent.
As they walk outside, he takes her hand. This nearly brings her to climax:
He’s still holding my hand. I’m in the street, and Christian Grey is holding my hand. No one has ever held my hand (page 41).
She’s twenty-one, and no one has ever held her hand before? I find that difficult to believe.
They get some coffee, except she gets tea because she hates coffee. Quirky! She watches him as he gets the drinks, admiring his body and the way his pants hang off his hips and the way he runs his fingers through his hair.
Hmm…I’d like to do that (page 42).
After they sit down, Grey asks her if Jose is her boyfriend, and she says no. Then he asks if Paul is her boyfriend, and she says no. He’s a nosy bastard, isn’t he?
Grey tells her she’s a mystery, which I suspect is because in the original version he couldn’t read her mind. He questions her for awhile, and it’s not terribly interesting, even with her pausing to mentally remark on how gorgeous he is. Eventually it gets on the subject of Anastasia’s stepfather, and what he’s like:
“Ray? He’s…taciturn.” (page 45)
Gentle reader, I would ask you now to think back on the many conversations you have had in your life. In how many of these have you heard someone describe someone as taciturn?
We learn that Grey and his siblings were all adopted (naturally) and they wrap things up and head out to the car. En route, she asks him if he has a girlfriend and he says no, which immediately makes her suspect he’s a fudgepacker. Then she trips and falls into the road but Grey grabs her and pulls her back just in time to keep her from being plowed into by a cyclist, which is totally different from Edward stopping Bella from being hit by a car, and then he bundles her against his chest and she inhales and he smells absolutely intoxicating because fuck it, why not?
And then she thinks about how much she wants him to kiss her.
Except he doesn’t.
“Anastasia, you should steer clear of me. I’m not the man for you,” he whispers (page 49).
Oh good lord. Really? We have to deal with this? Is it because he wants to drink her blood? Or because he likes the whips and chains in the bedroom?
But he continues to not kiss her, and Anastasia realizes, deeply and truly, that she has totally misread this situation and he’s not interested in her at all. Because why else would he invite her, someone so obviously beneath him, out to coffee, and show such interest in who she might be dating? Clearly, he has no interest whatsoever.
Anastasia is fucking retarded.
She gets into the garage and starts crying like a bitch while she thinks over how much life sucks and how silly she is to be upset in the first place. And she thinks about how insecure she is and how she always turns down everyone who wants to go out with her, like Paul, and Jose, and that one guy in her chemistry class…right, so she has attractive men constantly validating her by asking her out, yet she continues to languish in her pit of self-loathing and despair.
Kate, when she gets home, reinforces the fact that Anastasia’s quite hot, but it doesn’t help much and finally Anastasia goes off to study.
We cut forward to Anastasia finishing her finals, and when she gets home there’s a package and it contains three volumes of obscenely expensive first edition copies of Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Obviously from Grey. But Anastasia decides to send them back because she can’t accept gifts like that. Then they head out to the bar to get shitfaced.
Eventually, while in line at the bathroom, Anastasia drunk-dials Grey and starts asking why he sent her the books. He’s naturally concerned because oh my god, who has ever been drunk dialed by a college girl before!? Grey says he’s coming to get her, although how he’s going to do this when she didn’t tell him what bar she’s at, I’m not sure. Then again, Grey is rich and powerful and probably has a whole setup for triangulating cell phone calls.
Anastasia goes outside to get some fresh air, because this is the first time she’s been drunk in her life. Jose follows her out and says that he likes her and tilts her head back. Anastasia starts mildly freaking out and says no and tries to push him away but he starts kissing her despite her protests. And then…
“I think the lady said no,” a voice said mildly (page 59).
If you were hoping for a fight, it doesn’t happen, because Anastasia starts throwing up everywhere. Grey holds her up and Jose slinks off and eventually she stops throwing up and Grey says he’ll take her home. We find out that Grey did, indeed, trace her cell phone. Of course.
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 (page 62).
I see that, like Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey is really trying to demonstrate to young women what positive, wholesome relationships are like.
They head out onto the dance floor, ostensibly so Anastasia can tell Kate that Grey is taking her home, but then he takes her into his arms and they start dancing, which is just terribly romantic. Kate is dancing with Elliot, Grey’s brother, and she’s putting her moves on, which she only does if she really likes someone.
Then Anastasia passes out.