(Catch up: Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12)
José heads off home and as soon as the lift doors have closed, Christian notes how José "still wants into your panties, Ana", because the only thing certain in this life are death, taxes and everyone wanting to have sex with Ana Steele. Christian notes that Ana didn't tell José that they're engaged and Ana points out that she wants to tell her mother and Ray, her stepfather first. Christian says that he should ask Ray for his permission and Ana laughs it off, saying this isn't the eighteenth century and that they'll talk about it later. (Remember this bit and in particular the fact that Ana wants to tell Ray herself.)
She changes the subject by saying that she wants to give Christian his other birthday presents. The first one is a small wooden model helicopter with a solar powered rotor blade, which she had obviously gotten before the almost-crash, but Christian loves it.
“It’ll keep me company while we salvage Charlie Tango.”
“Is it salvageable?”
“I don’t know. I hope so. I’ll miss her, otherwise.”
Her? I am shocked at myself for the small pang of jealousy I feel for an inanimate object.
My subconscious snorts with derisory laughter. I ignore her.
Me and her subconscious should get hammered together and bitch about Ana.
The next present is the one she was putting together when she found the sexy photos hidden in Christian's room and is a box full of stuff he owns, such as his iPod, his silver tie, a butt plug and nipple clamps. Ana wants back into the playroom but Christian is anxious and asks if she's sure. She is, as long as there's no "whips and stuff", so it's off to the playroom they go, for more banging.
Christian pauses before going into the playroom, to make sure Ana is certain that she wants to get freaky with him and asks if there's anything she doesn't want to do, despite the fact that she literally just said what she didn't want to do at the end of the last chapter. No whips and stuff, pay attention, geebag.
Before going inside, Ana asks Christian not to take any photos of her once they're in there. He looks at her weirdly and agrees not to, so they enter the room and he tells Ana to strip off. He then holds up the butt plug that Ana had placed in the gift box and explains that it's too big to start with, so he's going to use his little finger instead.
I gasp, shocked. Fingers...there?
WHERE DID YOU THINK THE BUTT PLUG WAS GOING, ANA? THE CLUE IS KINDA IN THE NAME THERE.
Christian then swaps the nipple clamps Ana had chosen for some less severe ones, because she didn't have a fucking clue what she was doing while putting together this gift of things he already owns. Ana asks how he wants her to behave and Christian is like "eh, however you want to".
"Were you expecting my alter ego, Anastasia?" he asks, his tone vaguely mocking and bemused at once. I blink at him.
"Well, yes. I like him," I murmur.
No you fucking don't! That was the whole reason you left at the end of the first fucking travesty of a book. WEREN'T YOU THERE?
He then gets her to kneel on a table, facing him and cuffs her arms together behind her back.
This man is going to be my husband. Can one lust after one's husband like this? I don't remember reading about that anywhere.
No Ana, people usually get married because they hate each other.
Ana is then blindfolded and Christian puts a vibrator inside her, which, she is astonished to discover, vibrates. Who knew. It's in her vagina, by the way, which isn't totally clear when you're reading it, because it's all "there", "down there", "not here, but here" so it's anyone's guess where Christian's fingers are at any given time. Australia, possibly. Then there's more riding, followed by her usual "I love him so much, he's all mine, etc etc" bollocks.
So many sides of Christian - his sweet, gentle persona and his rugged, I-can-do-what-I-fucking-well-like-to-you-and-you'll-come-like-a-train Dominant side - his fifty shades, all of him.
As I've typed out that excerpt, there's a big red "this is grammatically incorrect or misspelled" line under most of it and I'm like, TELL ME ABOUT IT, COMPUTER. Someone needs to confiscate the fucking hyphen button on EL's laptop. Also, how does one come like a train? Like, by shouting "CHOO CHOOO!" at the moment of climax? Overcharging for a return trip to Cork? Who the fuck knows.
I'm aware we don't know each other well, and we have a mountain of issues to overcome, but I know for each other, we will - and we'll have a lifetime to do it.
She's marrying this guy. That she doesn't know well. But he's hot, so yay, I guess.
Apparently, after all the sex, they "talked and talked and talked", but instead of letting us in on any potential character development, when we rejoin them Ana is taking the piss out of Kate with an impersonation that Christian is finding hilarious, because meaningful dialogue is for chumps.
"To think it could have been her who came to interview me. Thank the Lord for the common cold," he murmurs and kisses my nose.
Yeah, because Kate probably wouldn't take your domineering bullshit and would tell you to take your misogynistic, controlling attitude and shove it up your hole. Thank god for a naive sap like Ana who can be manipulated and kept in a constant state of fear around you. PHEW.
They eventually get up and Christian has some work to do, so Ana gets busy making lunch, seeing as Christian is bewildered by something as basic as slicing peppers.
Christian is in his study on the phone. Taylor is with him, looking serious but casual in jeans and a tight, black t-shirt.
Taylor comes into the kitchen, where Ana is, and she asks if his daughter is ok.
"Yes, thanks. My ex-wife thought she had appendicitis, but she was overreacting as usual." Taylor rolls his eyes, surprising me.
NO TAYLOR! What the hell, dude? You don't slag off your ex for being TOO concerned about your daughter's goddamn health! Why'd you have to do me like this, Taylor? WHY?
Anyway, he calls Ana "ma'am" at the end of their conversation.
I flush...will I ever get used to Taylor calling me ma'am? It makes me feel so old, at least thirty.
At least thirty.
AT. LEAST. THIRTY.
Ana checks her phone, and there's a text from Kate, saying she's looking forward to seeing her that evening and catching up properly. Ana replies "Same here" and thinks about how good it will be to talk to Kate. After sending a two-word text message to her friend that she hasn't seen properly in about a year (I swear that's what it feels like at this stage), Ana then proceeds to EMAIL CHRISTIAN WHO IS IN THE NEXT ROOM. GODFUCKINGDAMMIT. What's almost worse is that he actually replies and it's making me wish that the Doctor would materialise, tie the two of them together, fly to a black hole in outer space and kick the pair of them out the door of the TARDIS. Then come and get me for some sexy adventures in space and time and really, that's a whole other fanfic right there.
Ana goes to the study where Christian is working, to let him know that lunch is ready. He says he has one more call to make and then notices the dress she's wearing, which was in the wardrobe full of clothes that he had a personal shopper choose for her.
“That dress is very short,” he adds.
“You like it?” I give him a quick twirl. It’s one of Caroline Acton’s purchases. A soft turquoise sundress, probably more suitable for the beach, but it’s such a lovely day on so many levels. He frowns and my face falls.
“You look fantastic in it, Ana. I just don’t want anyone else to see you like that.”
GET. TO. FUCK. RED FLAG RED FLAG RED FLAG.
Moments later, Christian emerges from the study with the phone, with Ray on the line, because he went ahead and called him anyway to ask his permission to marry Ana, just like she explicitly asked him not to do earlier. Remember? "Let's talk about it later" clearly means "go ahead and do whatever you want when it comes to my life and family." DICK.
Ana is understandably pissed off with Christian, but takes the phone and talks to Ray, who's wondering what the hell is going on, considering it's been a matter of weeks since they got together. Ana explains that Christian, the man who ignores her wishes and doesn't want anyone to see her looking nice in a dress, is her "happily ever after" and Ray just says he hopes she knows what she's doing and agrees to give her away at the wedding. Christian takes the phone back and then comes into the kitchen after a few minutes, proudly declaring that he has Ray's "rather begrudging" blessing.
|Ray could learn a thing or two from Mel Horowitz.|
Despite Ana being quite rightly pissed off with Christian, he's delighted, because he got what he wanted, and remember kids, how Ana feels about it doesn't actually matter.
He’s acting like he’s just negotiated a major new merger or acquisition, which I suppose on one level, he has.
OH GOOD, NOW YOU'RE THINKING OF YOURSELF AS ONE OF HIS POSSESSIONS TOO. EXCELLENT. FEMINISM IS FOR LOSERS, ANYWAY. TIME FOR THAT "PROPERTY OF CHRISTIAN GREY" TATTOO.
While they're eating lunch, Christian asks Ana why she said not to take photos of her in the playroom, so she confesses that she found his pictures of former subs. It turns out that they're usually in a safe and Leila must have moved them. Yeah, I don't know why either, or why she'd go to the trouble of hiding them. Also, apparently they're Christan's "insurance policy" against exposure, despite the fact that trust between parties is equally as - if not more important than - getting off in BDSM relationships. It would be much less creepy if he just took the photos to wank over. Also, Leila could open the safe because Christian has the combination written down, the fucking genius.
“I wonder what else she knows and if she’s taken anything else out of there.”
OH HAI FREDDIE FORESHADOWING.
Ana then decides to call her mother and make a birthday cake for her new owner.
“A chocolate cake?”
“You want a chocolate cake?” His grin is infectious.
Ana then rings her mother to tell her about the engagement, and her first response is to ask if Ana is knocked up. Because, duh.
“No, no, no, nothing like that.” Disappointment slices through my heart, and I’m saddened that she would think that of me.
THAT SHE WOULD THINK THAT OF ME. WOW. I think EL James might be Katie Hopkins in disguise. Christ. Imagine. Ana's mother then gets upset on the phone when she wishes that Ana's father was still alive to see her getting married and Ana's all "the familiar tale is retold...again" and "She’s wistful and maudlin again" because she's just AWFUL. It's totally understandable for her mother to wish Ana's dad was around for such a milestone and it wouldn't kill Ana to not be such a little bitch about it.
I shake my head thinking about my mythical father.
OHMYGAD WAS HE A UNICORN?
Anyway, after the phonecall, Ana gets busy making the birthday cake but has to run out to the shop for some chocolate to finish it off. On her way out, Christian asks if she's going to "put on some jeans or something", otherwise the whole world will be able to see her whore legs and this will devalue her as one of his investments. Ana rolls her eyes and leaves, although the line "I make it to the elevator before he catches up with me" is pretty unnerving. While she's out, Ana decides that the dress actually is a bit too short and immediately regrets making him angry.
But I feel strongly that I should wear what I like.
THE FACT THAT THIS IS EVEN AN ISSUE IS A PRETTY GOOD INDICATOR TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP.
When she gets back to the apartment, Ana apologises to Christian for wearing a dress that he bought for her.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.”
I believe it's called NOT BEING A FUCKING DOORMAT.
Christian apologises for being a cunt and tells her to wear what she likes (WOW THANKS) and they fuck in the study, because of course they do. All their problems are solved by banging. Or at least, ignored in favour of banging. Oh, and while she was at the ATM, Ana discovered that Christian has put $50,000 in her bank account without telling her and her only reaction is "And so it begins."
They eat the stupid fucking cake and then head to Christian's parents house for his birthday party. However, Kate is there before them and furious. She corners Ana and Christian alone in the dining room and waves a piece of paper at them, demanding to know what the fuck it is. Ana takes it from her and it's a printout of her email response to Christian, discussing the sex contract from the first book. No, I don't know why Christian printed out her email either. Who the fuck prints out emails?
EL James, probably.