We continue where we left off: with a heroine defined by awkward babbling and a hero defined by being Dracula.
My heart is pounding. The elevator arrives on the first floor, and I scramble out as soon as the doors slide open, stumbling once, but fortunately not sprawling on to the immaculate sandstone floor.[..] I close my eyes and take a deep, purifying breath, trying to recover what’s left of my equilibrium. No man has ever affected me the way Fridge LargeMeat has, and I cannot fathom why. Is it his looks? His civility? Wealth? Power? I don’t understand my irrational reaction.I don't either, believe me. Is this the first time she's met a man? A young man? A good-looking man? A sort of polite man? An unbearably egotistical man?
I guess the point here is that love is just something that comes over you, like a bad batch of hamburger catching up with you while you're on the freeway, rather than a connection that develops between two people who actually know and like each other.
An involuntary shiver runs down my spine. He may be arrogant, but then he has a right to be – he’s accomplished so much at such a young age. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, but why should he?*wanking gesture*
I check the speedometer. I’m driving more cautiously than I would on any other occasion. And I know it’s the memory of two penetrating gray eyes gazing at me, and a stern voice telling me to drive carefully.Seriously, she just met this guy. At least when this road-safety-hallucinations bit happened in Twilight they were actually dating.
“Mostly he was courteous, formal, slightly stuffy – like he’s old before his time. He doesn’t talk like a man of twenty-something. How old is he anyway?”Hey, E.L. James? When you were editing this so it wasn't a vampire story any more, I think you missed a spot.
“Why did you want to know if he was gay?" [...]
“Whenever he’s in the society pages, he never has a date.”That's not actually how gay works.
Later that evening, I call Ray, my stepdad, Mom’s Husband Number Two, the man I consider my father, and the man whose name I bear.So her father is Ray Steele?
I just haven’t met anyone who… well, whom I’m attracted to, even though part of me longs for those trembling knees, heart-in-my-mouth, butterflies-in-my-belly, sleepless nights.Being in that kind of love sounds so uncomfortable. I'm not sure I want that. I like love that feels like warm fuzzies and emotional security a lot better than love that feels like gastroenteritis.
Saturday at the store is a nightmare. We are besieged by do-it-yourselfers wanting to spruce up their homes. [...] I glance up… and find myself locked in the bold gray gaze of Roll FizzleBeef who’s standing at the counter, staring at me intently. Heart failure. “Miss Steele. What a pleasant surprise.” His gaze is unwavering and intense.Gahhh! She lives a hundred and fifty miles away from him! And she never told him where she works! This is not okay!
His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel… or something.*falls out of chair*
“There are a few items I need. To start with, I’d like some cable ties,” he murmurs, his gray eyes cool but amused. [...] “I’d like some masking tape.” [...] “I’ll take five yards of the natural filament rope please.”This shopping list is coming off less sexytimes and more "if he adds in quicklime and a shovel, we're going to notify the sheriff's office."
...What kinky thing is he going to do with masking tape? Very precise body painting?
And, to put on my serious kinkster hat for a moment, it's really icky and immature to try to scandalize customer service staff with your kinkiness. Yes, the clerk at Home Depot gets it, you're going to use rope for sexy sex things, and they're approximately as intrigued and delighted as the staff at Rite Aid were when you held your box of condoms aloft and screamed "THESE ARE FOR MY PENIS!"
I feel the color in my cheeks rising again. I must be the color of the communist manifesto.Sort of sepia, in a lot of printings. Red wasn't associated with communism until like 20 years after The Communist Manifesto was written. Honestly, though, I just wanted you to see this line.
Paul has always been a buddy, and in this strange moment that I’m having with the rich, powerful, awesomely off-the-scale attractive control-freak SteakFace, it’s great to talk to someone who’s normal. Paul hugs me hard taking me by surprise. “Ana, hi, it’s so good to see you!” he gushes. “Hello Paul, how are you? You home for your brother’s birthday?” “Yep. You’re looking well, Ana, really well.” [...]
When I glance up at Slab SquatThrust, he’s watching us like a hawk, his gray eyes hooded and speculative, his mouth a hard impassive line. He’s changed from the weirdly attentive customer to someone else – someone cold and distant.Paul seems nice. I'm on Team Paul. (And for all we know he's a perv too. Astonishing fact: someone can be kinky and be a casual, friendly person. You don't have to act like a brooding sex vampire 24/7 before you're allowed to try spanking.)
I am not on Team "furiously jealous because a woman he met yesterday and has no relationship with is having a completely innocent conversation with another man." You want a better simile for your blushing, Ana? "I must be the color of this GIGANTIC RED FLAG."
The part that makes this genuinely upsetting, though, is that this is supposed to be super romantic. Jealousy is supposed to be a sign someone likes you, so being holy-shit-scary-jealous must be a sign he really likes you. And this leads to places darker than I really want to go to on the same page as multiple diarrhea jokes.
“Would you like a bag?” I ask as I take his credit card. “Please, Anastasia.” His tongue caresses my name, and my heart once again is frantic.I'm reading all of Smoke ManMuscle's lines in Bela Lugosi's voice.
“Oh – and Anastasia, I’m glad Miss Kavanagh couldn’t do the interview.” He smiles, then strides with renewed purpose out of the store, slinging the plastic bag over his shoulder, leaving me a quivering mass of raging female hormones.Why is he glad? I mean, okay, I'll take it as a given that Trunk SlamChest is so unearthly beautiful that women can barely stay vertical around him, but we haven't heard about any men falling into babbling trances at Ana's feet. And she sure as hell hasn't charmed him with her wit or warmth. The only things he's seen about her are that she's young, female, and awkward, and heck, for all he knows Kavanagh is awkward too.
There's "love at first sight," and then there's just "love for no particular reason."