(Catch up: Vol 1 and 2)
And now, this.
Christian and Ana finally get around to making that stir-fry, although I imagine Ana did most of the work on that front, seeing as Christian was bewildered by unchopped red peppers earlier. They're sitting on Kate's Persian rug, eating their noodles and drinking white wine (easy known Kate is away, otherwise I'd hope that she'd tell these jerks to stop eating on her nice rug and use the damn table, fucking pronto) and Christian is described thusly:
Christian leans against the couch, his long legs stretched out in front of him. He’s wearing his jeans and his shirt with his just-fucked hair, and that’s all.
A - Did she have sex with his hair?
and B - He's wearing jeans and a shirt and "that's all"?
That's pretty much fully dressed, Ana.
Their conversation eventually turns back to Christian buying the company that Ana works for, when she tells him that she's still mad at him.
“I know but you being mad, baby, wouldn’t stop me.”
“If I leave and find another job, will you buy that company, too?”
“You’re not thinking of leaving, are you?” His expression alters, wary once more.
“Possibly. I’m not sure you’ve given me a great deal of choice.”
“Yes, I will buy that company, too.” He is adamant.
So apart from being infuriatingly condescending AND CRAZY, here's another situation where Ana has told him how she feels about his actions and he's just like "you're so cute when you're mad, and I couldn't give a fuck about what you want, remember? Let's fuck!"
So instead of Ana being utterly horrified by the amount of control that Christian is hell-bent on having over her work life, they do some terrible, unamusing banter where they're supposedly being sarcastic with each other and then go have sex with vanilla ice cream thrown in the mix. VANILLA, GEDDIT? LIKE THE SEX THEY'RE HAVING! HA HA HA. THEY'RE SO FUNNY.
At least Ana actually uses the word vagina this time, so that's progress and a definite improvement on "down there". She also tells us really helpful things like "Oh...it’s cold" when Christian eats ice cream off her boobs. Such insight. Oh and when they both come, it's described as such:
Like the sorcerer’s apprentice I am, I let go, and we find our release together.
I don't know about you, but if I hear the words "sorcerer's apprentice", I immediately think of this:
|Yeah, Mickey. You dirty little mouse.|
After all the sticky sex and frankly, wasting of perfectly good Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Ana drifts off to sleep and has a nightmare about the girl that approached her outside work the previous night. She wakes up screaming and tells Christian about the encounter and to the surprise of exactly no-one, it turns out that it was Leila, his ex-sub.
What if she means a lot to him? Perhaps he misses her? I know so little about his past...um, relationships. She must have had a contract, and she would have done what he wanted, given him what he needed gladly. Oh no - when I can’t. The thought makes me nauseous.
Bear in mind that Ana is talking about a girl who was bedraggled and gaunt and quite clearly in a bit of a state when she saw her, not to mention the bloodied bandage on her wrist, which would read as a suicide attempt to anyone else, but Ana's main concern is that Christian might still be into her.
On hearing this news, Christian jumps out of bed in a panic to call someone named Welch, tells them to "find her", says he'll talk to Leila and that she's in trouble. Ana follows him out to the kitchen and offers to make tea.
“Actually, I’d like to go back to bed.” His look tells me that it’s not to sleep.
AH HERE. His unstable ex-sub has been FOLLOWING Ana and he said himself that Leila is in some kind of trouble, and therefore desperate but hey, let's bone. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
In fairness to Ana, she says she wants to know what the fuck is going on, in so many words. Christian is all "it doesn't concern you" only, eh, the fuck it doesn't, as this girl has TRACKED HER DOWN AT HER PLACE OF WORK. It turns out that "the situation" he kept banging on about in the last book when he had to leave Georgia in a hurry, was Leila turning up at his apartment and trying to kill herself.
Christian asks Ana why she didn't tell him about Leila yesterday, but she just forgot about it apparently and now it's time for more sex.
“Forget about her. Come.” He holds out his hand.
Oh, ok then. I suppose having TWO scary stalkers isn't anything to be worried about then.
The next morning, Ana is fiddling with her hair in the mirror, but oh it's just TOO LONG. Just like how she's TOO THIN and TOO PRETTY. She asks Christian how often he works out and he tells her about his personal trainer, Claude. He says she'd like him as a trainer and that he needs her fit for what he has in mind for her. Clearly Claude is on the approved list of men that she can be around, as Christian isn't flying into a rage at the thought of him LOOKING AT HIS PRECIOUS ANA AND MAYBE TOUCHING HER ARM SOMETIME.
“Okay, I’ll meet Claude.”
“You will?” Christian’s face lights up in astounded disbelief.
Astounded disbelief. I swear to god, these people have the weirdest reactions.
His expression makes me smile. He looks like he’s won the lottery, though Christian’s probably never even bought a ticket - he has no need.
BECAUSE HE'S SUPER RICH YOU GUYS, REMEMBER?
Ana says she wants to get her hair cut, lodge a cheque that Christian had given her from before (when they broke up, I think?) and buy a car. Christian then hands her the keys to the Audi he bought her for her graduation in the last book, which she had given back. Ah, no, the cheque was him reimbursing her for selling on her old VW Beetle. Something like that. Something boring. And again, way to leave people who haven't read the first book at all (or read it ages ago and can't remember all the interminable admin that went on) completely in the dark as to what the fuck is going on.
Ana tries to hand him back the cheque so she'll be buying the Audi off him instead of just being given one.
“Oh no. That’s your money.”
“No, it isn’t. I’d like to buy the car from you.”
His expression changes completely. Fury - yes, fury - sweeps across his face.
FURY x2. Again with the weird reactions. "Hello, I saw your car on DoneDeal, what's your best price?" "FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING FUCK." Sounds fair.
Ana rips up the cheque, so Christian storms off into another room and makes a phonecall, depositing a heap of money into her bank account.
"How do you know my account number?”
My ire takes Christian by surprise.
(Because he DIDN'T think that was an insanely intrusive thing to find out, unasked?)
“I know everything about you, Anastasia,” he says quietly.
NOOOOOOOOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.
And just to be clear:
However, they're both standing there, really mad at each other, her at him for being a controlling asshole, and him at her for showing some backbone. So naturally, they end up making out up agin' a wall, but he's out of condoms so they go for breakfast instead of riding on the carpet. THANK GOD.
“Okay,” I acquiesce and just like that, our fight is over.
AGAIN. NOPE. Your fight isn't over, you're both just ignoring the glaring issues in your horrible relationship and going for pancakes instead. I mean, granted, pancakes can probably solve most problems, but I don't think a controlling, manipulative, fucking insane boyfriend would count among them.
Ana pays for breakfast, which makes Christian all grumpy, like the last time when she offered to pay for their meal in IHOP and he was TOTES EMASCULATED. Independence in women is SO UNAPPEALING.
Christian then brings Ana to a fancy salon called Esclava (which is the Spanish term for female slave, so at least EL went to the trouble of looking up at least one word in a dictionary) and we get another classic James description, like all the GLASS and STEEL of Christian's office building in the first book.
The interior is all white and leather. At the stark white reception desk sits a young blond woman in a crisp white uniform.
It's WHITE, you see, and the reception desk is WHITE and WHITE WHITE WHITE THIS WORD HAS LOST ALL MEANING. WHITE.
Ana is completely baffled by the fact that the receptionist and Christian know each other, like really really unnecessarily confused. I just thought maybe he gets his hair cut here, but I forgot about him being a super-successful super-rich super-businessman for a second, so it turns out that he owns the salon, along with three others. Suddenly, a gorgeous older woman in a black salon uniform appears and Christian goes over to talk to her.
Ana refers to her as Platinum Blonde while describing her, which is something that Ana does constantly when she meets or sees someone whose name she doesn't know. Every time. So far in this book we've had Miss Very Short Hair and Red Lipstick (the girl who welcomed them to José's show), Blond Shock (a guy with "a shock of bright blond hair" who had the audacity to say that the portraits of Ana were nice) and Ghost Girl (Leila). It's extremely annoying.
Anyway, there's all this build-up to Ana figuring out who this foxy woman is, eventually culminating with:
Then it hits me like a wrecking ball, and I know, deep down in my gut on a visceral level, I know who it is. It’s her. Stunning, older, beautiful.
It’s Mrs. Robinson.
DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN. Mrs. Robinson is what Ana has been calling Elena, a friend of Christian's who had a fling with him when he was fifteen. Well, that and Mrs. Paedo. Because Ana is a massive child.
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