Hnghh. I have returned from Electric Picnic and now everything I do is accompanied by a groan or a sigh and the light from the computer screen is hurting my eyes. I have to say, only for the fact that I had this post locked and loaded pre-Picnic, there would have been nothing but tumbleweeds up in here for the week. So, good job, Past Kitty.
Now for the bad news. Well, it's good news for me, because I'm bailing on out of here on my holidays on Friday and flying out to Florida for a cruise followed by a week of theme park divilment with the Bear and my mad family, which means I won't be posting anything for the next two weeks. I might be knocking around on Twitter and Facebook at intervals during the holiday fun, but that'll be about it.
In any case, let's catch up with these two assholes for now.
(Volumes 1, 2 and 3.)
Ana recognises that it's Jack Hyde in the CCTV footage, so Christian is like "thank you darling, that's really helpful". KIDDING! He gets mad at her, of course.
“You seem to have studied your ex-boss in some detail, Mrs. Grey,” he murmurs, sounding none too pleased.
He talks with his security guy some more and when he hangs up, he tells Ana that she's "not only decorative, but useful, too", because treating your wife like an object is SO CUTE. C-Bag is hungry, so Ana goes into the kitchen to make him a sub sandwich. Mrs. Jones is in there making a bolognese sauce and Ana's "heart sinks" when she sees her, because she's an ungrateful little bitch.
“Um - so what does Christian like in a, um...sub?” I frown, struck by what I’ve just said. Does Mrs. Jones understand the inference?
First of all, no one cares about your sex life as much as you think, Ana and secondly, she's married to this guy and doesn't even know what kind of sandwich he likes? These two idiots have literally never spent any meaningful time together. SANDWICHES ARE IMPORTANT, PEOPLE.
Christian comes in and makes a crack about her being “Barefoot and in the kitchen”.
“Shouldn’t that be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen?” I smirk.
He stills, his whole body tensing against me. “Not yet,” he declares, apprehension clear in his voice.
“No! Not yet!”
She's so fucking pregnant.
Ana wants to watch telly for a bit, so they go into the tv room, where Christian is instantly as condescending as humanly possible.
“Any specific drivel you want to see?”
“You don’t like TV much, do you?” I mutter sardonically.
He shakes his head. “Waste of time. But I’ll watch something with you.”
Oh fuck off Christian, not liking television doesn't make you smarter or better than anyone else. It's a huge facet of popular culture and makes as much sense as saying "I don't like websites and you're an idiot if you think otherwise." It also makes you hard to make small talk with.
Ana wants to make out in front of the tv and Christian is "horrified" by the suggestion, because he couldn't have a normal reaction to something if his life depended on it. You see, he's never done that before, and instead of just getting down to it, they have to have a whole conversation where he jealously grills Ana about the guys she fooled around with when she was a teenager.
“I want to know. So I can beat whoever it was to a pulp.”
I giggle. “Well, the first time...”
“The first time! There’s more than one fucker?” He growls.
HE'S JEALOUS OF THE DUDES SHE SHIFTED WHEN SHE WAS FIFTEEN. SO HEALTHY! SO NORMAL!
ALSO, the first book very definitely implied that Ana had never made out with anyone before in her life. I actually went back to find the exact wording (which appears to be more than EL James bothered doing) and it's as follows: "for the first time in twenty-one years, I want to be kissed" and "no one has ever held my hand". So what's with all the sudden teenage makeout sessions? Have we just abandoned continuity altogether at this stage?
They eventually get down to it and Christian gets carried away. Ana protests that she doesn't want to have sex, just make out. Christian says “No sex, huh?” and they proceed to have sex. This. Fucking. Guy.
The next morning, Christian drops Ana off at her office and tells her that she doesn't have to work. He's brought it up a few times now and every time he does, Ana says she wants to work, but whenever Ana is talking to him it probably just sounds like the adults in the Snoopy cartoons until it's time to fuck again. At work, everyone is a bit distant with Ana, except for her assistant Hannah, a woman who Ana mysteriously doesn't seem to hate. Just before ten o'clock, so Ana has most likely been in the office for just under an hour, it's email time! Christian has sent her a message demanding to know why an email sent to an Anastasia Grey account bounced back. Because surely the first thing she'd do on her first day back in the office after three weeks off is get the IT guys on the phone to set up a new account for her married name, scribble over her old name on her office door and replace it with MRS. CHRISTIAN GREY, surrounded by lovehearts, right?
I sent the e-mail below and it bounced.
And it’s because you haven’t changed your name.
Something you want to tell me?
Yeah, GOOOO FUCK YOURSELF! The email subject there was "Errant Wives", by the way.
Ana replies, saying that she doesn't want to change her name at work and that she'll explain that evening when they're at home. Ana then has lunch in her office with Hannah, when who should show up, only Fuckface McGinty himself. I mean, Christian. He pointedly calls her Ms. Steele and when they're left alone and Ana asks what he's doing there, he replies:
“I’m just looking over my assets.”
“Your assets? All of them?”
“All of them. Some of them need rebranding.”
Hannah comes back in to bring Christian a coffee and is "all breathless" when he thanks her, so Ana thinks "I want to roll my eyes at her." There it is!
Christian continues to be a sexist fucking prick and says things like how he likes to drop in on his businesses, because it "keeps management on their toes, wives in their place" and I am actually about to spontaneously combust with rage. Ana is mad at him, until he makes out like she's hurting his feelings by not changing her name at work and Ana's all "oh NO! His feelings!" and I'm like HE'S MANIPULATING YOU, STAPLE HIM TO YOUR DESK AND RUN THE FUCK AWAY. He says that he wants everyone to know that she's his, and Ana's like "I married you, dummy", but it's NOT ENOUGH and this goes on and on and literally everything he says just makes me want to shove him out an upper-storey window.
Ana explains that she wants to put a bit of distance between them at work, as everyone thinks she only got the Commissioning Editor job after Jack was fired because she's married to the guy that bought the company. Which turns out to be the case (shocker) and Christian tells her that management decided to give it to her as they needed someone to caretake for the role during the sale. He then tells her that he plans on changing the name of the company to Grey Publishing and giving the company to Ana. He basically then badgers her until she gives up and says that she'll change her name if it means that much to him.
“Good.” He claps his hands, and all of a sudden he stands.
“Mission accomplished. Now, I have work to do. If you’ll excuse me, Mrs. Grey.”
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED? FUCK THIS FUCKING GUY WITH A RUSTY RAKE.
That evening, Ana is still mad at him for how he handled her disagreeing with him and says that she's not a child and not an asset. Christian says he knows and then IMMEDIATELY SAYS:
"You’re so precious to me. Like a priceless asset, like a child."
DO YOU EVEN HEAR YOURSELF?
They then just change the subject because Gia is calling over in a while with the plans for the house. Christian tells Ana that if she's still mad at him, she can take it out on him in bed later. Gia arrives, and has the nerve to be a "tall, good-looking woman". She's blonde too, and Ana automatically hates blondes.
She is well groomed - one of those women who grew up with money and breeding, though her breeding seems to be lacking this evening; her pale blue blouse is undone too far. Like mine. I flush.
Wait, is Ana trying to fuck Gia or compete against her? They go over the plans and Ana is excruciatingly possessive the whole time. Gia touches Christian's arm at one point and Ana comes and stands between the two of them. Taylor appears and calls Christian away to discuss something urgent, leaving Ana alone with Gia. Ana then proceeds to make an absolute show of herself and tells Gia to keep her hands off her husband, or she's fired. She actually says these words. Gia is mortified and scared of Ana now, so she's all formal when Christian comes back and she leaves. Because that is how rational, grown women do business apparently.
They go back to their earlier argument and it's essentially the same fight that they've had twice already. Christian panics and starts to think Ana is going to leave him or whatever, she gives in to reassure him, and Christian gets his way. They've been having the same argument for the last three books. Best-selling series OF ALL TIME.
Christian needs a haircut and Ana is going to do it for him. Five pages later, all she's done is wash his hair, because everything takes for-fucking-ever when these two dickheads are involved.
Ana helpfully goes into great detail about how hot Christian is:
Sculptured, chiseled, whatever, it is a beautiful mouth and he knows exactly what to do with it.
Ooooh, whatever. EL James, with this literary magic you are really spoiling us.
They can't even contain themselves for the fifteen minutes it would take to cut his hair, and Christian ends up pulling Ana onto his lap and making her come just by playing with her nipples. He could probably poke her in the eye and she'd have an orgasm. They have sex and then Ana cries because she's SO IN LOVE.
inside my joy unfurls and stretches lazily
No. NO! There is no room in Ana's head for any more characters. You better furl back up, immediately.
They go back to the hair-cutting and Ana needs a scissors. There's one in Christian's study so she goes to get it, but on the way, notices that the door of Taylor's office is open and Mrs. Jones is in there.
Taylor is running his fingers down her face and smiling sweetly at her. Then he leans down and kisses her.
Yes! Fucking YES! TAYLOR you DREAMBOAT! Totally called it in the first book. And if anything should be rewritten from a different perspective in this series, it's Taylor and Jones and their sex adventures! Ana is scandalised by the fact that the staff don't just sit around all day, thinking about their boss's sex life and scampers off to the study.
I’m reeling. I always thought Mrs. Jones was older than Taylor. Oh, I have to get my head around this.
Imagine! A man being interested in a woman slightly older than he is! What larks! Also, I've just realised that Ana makes Mrs. Jones sound like an old lady, but she also previously referred to thirty as old, so Taylor and Jonesy are probably only in their late thirties/early forties. I bet they're smokin' hot. Anyway, Ana gets the scissors and also finds a loaded gun in an unlocked drawer, but doesn't mention it to Christian, so that's definitely not going to come up later as part of some big, pointless drama. She tells Christian about Taylor and Jones hooking up, but he was already aware, and he suggests that they include rooms for them in the plans for the new house, so Taylor's daughter could stay with him there from time to time.
“Why doesn’t she stay here?”
“Taylor’s never asked me.”
“Perhaps you should offer. But we’d have to behave ourselves.”
Christian’s brow furrows. “I hadn’t thought of that.”
Because god forbid you'd have to keep it in your pants for a whole evening and actually talk to each other. Ana asks him what Taylor's daughter is like (shy, pretty) and Christian reveals something that really casts him as the villain in The Sexy Adventures of Taylor and Jonesy.
"I pay for her schooling.”
Oh! I stop combing and stare at him in the mirror.
“I had no idea.”
He shrugs. “Seemed the least I could do. Also, it means he won’t quit.”
What a great way to inspire loyalty in your employees! Hold their children's education to ransom so they can never leave and have to stay working for a rude, self-obsessed, controlling man-baby!
Ana eventually gives him his fucking haircut and they go to bed. Ana then tries to explain that she doesn't want to run the publishing company and that it's not something that ever appealed to her. As usual, Christian doesn't listen to her and insists that she'd be good at it (she really wouldn't) and tells her to think about it. Ana then asks him what he meant when he said that she could take her anger out on him in bed, and if he meant letting her tie him up. But his eyes go all sad and fearful and he's like "that's not what I meant at all" and instead of actually just fucking telling her what he meant, they have sex again. In my notes for this whole bit about what he meant, I just have "Pegging! PEG-GING! PEG-GING! PEG-GING!" written down. (Edit: Exercise caution if you need to Google it, as I'm mostly just looking for an excuse to make a Broad City reference.)