“Does this mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?” Holy shit. Did I just say that? His mouth drops open slightly, but he recovers quickly.
“No, Anastasia it doesn’t. Firstly, I don’t make love. I cite… hard.”
My mouth drops open. Cite… hard! Holy shit, that sounds so… hot.
“Secondly, there’s a lot more departmental adminstration to do, and thirdly, you don’t yet know what you’re in for. You could still run for the campus. Come, I want to show you my common room.”
But why are we looking at a common room? I am mystified.
“You want to play on your Interdepartmental Intranet?” I ask. He laughs, loudly.
“No, Anastasia, no Intranet, no E-Learning. Come.”… Producing a key from his pocket, he unlocks yet another door and takes a deep breath.
“You can leave anytime. My faculty helicopter is on stand-by to take you whenever you want to go, you can stay the night and go home in the morning. It’s fine whatever you decide.”
“Just open the damn door, Christian.”
He opens the door and stands back to let me in. I gaze at him once more. I so want to know what’s in here. Taking a deep breath I walk in.
And it feels like I’ve time-traveled back to the sixteenth century and the Spanish Inquisition.
It’s the biggest collection of peer-reviewed journals I’ve ever seen.
He grabs me suddenly and yanks me up against Textual Practice issues 1-834, one hand at my back holding me to the special issue on Post-Feminist Misogynies and the other fisting in my sheaf of freshly-printed graduate dissertations about the sociosexual function of poorly-written sub-pornographic antiprose.
“You’re one challenging woman.” He cites me, hard, forcing my footnotes apart with his MLA style guide, taking no prisoners.
“It’s taking all my academic rigour not to cite you on the hood of this recently-published monograph on De Sade’s little known career as a writer of Twilight fan fiction, just to show you that you’re mine, and if I want to edit you a fucking festschrift, I’ll edit you a fucking festschrift, and have it published by Routledge in a special one-off signed edition cross-promoted with Lamborghini” he growls.
His head turns fractionally toward me, his eyes darkest black-board. I bite my lip.
“Oh, fuck the departmental administration – let’s research!,” he growls. He lunges at me, pushing me against the lifesize bust of Soren Kierkegaard made by Chanel in Lalique Crystal. (It’s a uniquely impressive piece, embossed with gold cupids endorsed by J-Lo.)
“Actually, this is no good,” I say, pouting. “I feel a bit disappointed and anxious about where this is going, and wonder if maybe I am cheapening myself as a researcher,” I groan, without in any way being capable of meaning it, or meaning anything at all, so potent is the fiery grip of his burning white rich male heterosexual intellect thingy upon my er whatever, forgotten, sorry.
“That’s understandable, but isn’t cheapening yourself the whole point?” he growls.
“Oh yeah. I forgot, sorry, I am incredibly stupid!”
“Incredibly!” he growls, brandishing a diamond-embellished copy of Discipline and Punish with an incredibly rare lost foreword by Ayn Rand, and bringing it down hard on my never-to-be-published PhD on something kind of intelligent but I’ve forgotten what because I’m so stupid.
“Maybe hurt me in a pretend fantasy way again?” I beg.
“That’s what I’m already doing you idiot, can’t you read?”
As his huge engorged tome crushes any hope of my future self-realisation, I felt totally liberated from ever having to do anything at all ever again except abide in the echo chamber of my own failed fantasy life, spreading retrograde aspirations wherever I passed and contaminating the world with the tragic effluent of failed late capitalist post-feminism – except that I couldn’t even form that thought, because I was so stupid, and because Christian, fuck it let’s just call him Christ, was…. SO. DAMN. HOT.
From E.L.James’ little known early career in academia.
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