Aghh ok, work is wild busy and life is wild busy so no time for preamble, let's just get to it!
(Catch up: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.)
Ana has arrived home and Christian is being all intense and she can't tell if he's angry or horny. But one thing we DO know is what his jeans are up to:
Holy crap he looks hot - his jeans hanging that way from his hips.
Also, he has printed out her last email to him (the one where she angrily pointed out that he doesn't keep her informed about her own safety) like he's someone's grandad and holds it up in front of her for some reason. Seriously, when was the last time you printed out an email that wasn't a booking reference? This fucking guy. Ana then proceeds to throw her entire gender under the bus:
“Christian, I changed my mind,” I explain slowly, patiently as if he’s a child. “I’m a woman. We’re renowned for it. That’s what we do.”
Fuck you, Ana.
Christian gets all sad thinking about what could have happened if Ana had been there when Jack got into the apartment and his precious feelings are all hurty again.
"I’ve died a thousand deaths today thinking about what might have happened."
Well THAT'S awfully similar to the words of that song from Twilight, isn't it?
I'm sure it's all a big coincidence.
They hug and Ana reassures him that his abusive threats to her are totally fine because she knows he'd never hurt her. Not like all the times when he, y'know, HURT HER. Christian then tries to get her to come to bed, but Ana wants to talk and won't give in when he keeps trying to distract her by shoving his crotch at her. She gets him to tell her that Jack had reports and stuff about Christian's family and his days in college, all stored on his hard drive and almost tells her something else, but then goes into YOU MUST EAT, ANA mode so he won't have to talk any more. He brings her into the kitchen, sits her down and blindfolds her.
“Can you see?” he asks.
“No,” I mutter, figuratively rolling my eyes. He chuckles softly.
“I can tell when you’re rolling your eyes...and you know how that makes me feel.”
Oh FOR THE LOVE OF ANGELA LANSBURY. If you FIGURATIVELY roll your eyes, then you haven't actually rolled your eyes at all. It is possible to roll your eyes while blindfolded though, so I don't know what possessed EL James to use the word figuratively here, other than the very strong possibility that she doesn't actually know what it means. I can only assume that her copy editor has locked themselves into a cupboard with a bottle of something tasty and flammable in an effort to avoid her at this point.
Christian feeds Ana some spicy lamb, but not before spitting wine into her mouth from his. I guess it's meant to be sexy, but, Jesus Christ, no. He puts on music for this pointless interlude and now I feel compelled to point out something else that bugs the living fuck out of me about Ana. Here's how she describes the song that's playing, throughout this scene:
A loud twang of a guitar begins a song I don’t know.
A man starts to sing, his voice deep, low, and sexy.
The troubadour on the iPod is singing about wicked games.
Now get to actual fuck if you think anyone believes that you've NEVER heard Wicked Games by Chris Isaak before. Everyone knows that song, and you're a fucking liar. Chris Isaak was a guest star on Friends for god's sake, and even if his and the song's name don't make it click for you, the "and IIiiiIIiiiiIiiiiIIII wanna fall in looove" bit would make any person go "oh yeah, THAT song! With Helena Christensen rolling around on the beach, yes, got it." Ana does this repeatedly throughout this book and in case I haven't clarified, IT'S SUPER FUCKING ANNOYING.
Here's my impression of Ana listening to Queen: "A mournful song starts playing, where a man is sorrowfully confessing to his mother that he's killed a man. I've never heard it before in my sheltered, idiotic life. Now the tempo has changed and the voices are saying something about SCARAMOUCHE SCARAMOUCHE WILL YOU DO THE FANDANGO. Oh my." I don't know why EL James is so fucking squirrelly about naming songs, but it does actually happen the odd time, like when we found out earlier that Ana's ringtone for Christian is Your Love Is King by Sade.
Anyway, Christian brings Ana to the playroom, so they mutter and murmur at each other the whole way there.
“Playroom,” he murmurs.
“Bring it on,” I murmur, desire and something that I don’t want to name thrum through my body.
“I think you’ve lost weight,” he mutters disapprovingly.
Mutter mutter murmur murmur, never ever enunciating. I'm doing a "how many times does this word appear in this book?" count.
"Mutter": 125 (!)
"Murmur": 290 (!!!)
"Whisper": 377 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Christian cuffs Ana to the big wooden cross in the playroom, leaves her blindfolded and then teases her with a vibrator. She doesn't know what his game is and he brings her to the point where she's about to come and then stops and repeats the process, telling her that this is how much she frustrates him. Now, apparently orgasm denial is a thing that people are into, which is grand if that's your bag, but surely the person you do it to should actually be into it, rather than just springing it on someone and using it to punish and torment them for meeting their friend for a few mojitos. WHICH IS ALL SHE FUCKING WELL DID, REMEMBER?
Ana starts crying and uses the safeword to make him stop, because "This is not love. It’s revenge." (which basically sums up their whole relationship). Christian's reaction to her using the safeword is as fucking selfish and inconsiderate as you'd expect:
He stills. “No!” He gasps, stunned. “Jesus Christ, no.”
He moves quickly, unclipping my hands, clasping me around my waist and leaning down to unclip my ankles, while I put my head in my hands and weep.
“No, no, no. Ana, please. No.”
And he then proceeds to make the entire situation about him, never once asking her if she's ok or if she wants anything, just pleading with her to stop crying and whining about her never doing as she's told. I think I pulled something in my neck from the faces I was making during this whole bit. They agree to be more considerate of each other and make up.
“Your lips are always so soft when you’ve been crying,” he murmurs.
This is the second time in this book that Christian has said almost those exact words to Ana after she's been upset and it's so fucking creepy. "You look so pretty after I've emotionally abused and sexually manipulated you."
Ana then goes back to their earlier conversation and Christian eventually tells her that they know Jack Hyde is the one who tried to sabotage the helicopter, that he had a van outside the apartment when he broke in, containing tranquilizers and a mattress and that Christian's investigator guy Welch and the cops are looking into the whole situation and they think Detroit is the connection. Ana's like "huh?" and the chapter ends really bizarrely. As I've mentioned before, the chapters quite often begin and end with them going to bed/waking up the next morning, but of course there's also the cliffhanger chapter endings, which this one feels like it's trying to be, but fails utterly.
Christian lifts his face and gazes at me, his expression unreadable. “Ana, I was born in Detroit.”
DUN DUN DUUUUUUN.
It turns out that Jack is from Detroit too and Christian continues to try to worm his way out of telling Ana anything about the guy WHO WANTS TO KIDNAP HER. They talk about Christian's shitty childhood before getting adopted, Ana feels sad for him and pictures him as a lonely, dirty-faced toddler for the millionth fucking time and then refers to his mother as "the crack whore" in her internal thoughts, so that's just super great how that's catching on. There's a whole excruciatingly boring conversation about how much they need and love each other and it's basically the same as most of the conversations they've already had over the course of these three horrendous books. They go to sleep and Christian has another one of his well-timed nightmares that make Ana feel like she can never ever leave or Freddy Krueger will surely come and get him. Ana wakes Christian up, they have sex, and then move from the playroom to the bedroom.
Ana wakes up but OH NO CHRISTIAN ISN'T THERE SOMETHING MUST BE TERRIBLY WRONG so she RUNS down the hallway to find him and he's there playing the fucking piano, so we've already had this whole scene before, doodly doo, it's the next morning and Christian says they're going to Aspen for the weekend.
They arrive at the airport and Christian says he has a surprise for her on the private jet. It turns out that Kate, Ethan, Mia and Elliot are all onboard, wahey, because “You said you didn’t see enough of your friends.” So hey, here are two of your friends and my two siblings, who they happen to be boning or whatever, so this whole social situation is on my terms and you can't do anything that I don't approve of yaaay. Ana doesn't even say hello to them though, just shifts the face off Christian so he throws her over his shoulder and walks straight past everyone, bringing her into the bedroom. Which is just rude. Seriously, you'd think some manners would actually kill these people. They don't have sex or anything, which is a relief, and pretty much come right back out again, so that whole embarrassing spectacle had no purpose whatsoever.
Natalia is the flight attendant again, so Ana spends some time sizing her up.
Why does she make me uncomfortable? Maybe it’s that she’s a brunette. By his own admission, Christian doesn’t usually employ brunettes because he finds them attractive.
He can only employ blonde women, otherwise he'll just uncontrollably start having sex with them. Christian is legit the worst businessman ever.
She’s dressed in a neat navy short-sleeved shirt and matching pencil skirt. Her makeup is immaculate - she really is quite pretty. My subconscious raises a plucked-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life eyebrow at me.
Kate starts asking Ana about the whole Jack situation and Ana tells her that he made a pass at her which resulted in Christian firing him. She asks more stuff and Elliot joins in with the questions too and Ana acts like they're majorly overstepping some boundary. Even though Elliot has had a load of security people around him because of it and the guy got into the place where Ana lives, so yeah, it's a pretty fair topic of conversation to bring up. It'd be weird for them not to talk about it, like. Anyway, there's a bit of suggestion that something's up between Kate and Elliot, because she scowls at him at one point, and then we get another classic chapter-ending cliffhanger.
Natalia appears abruptly from the galley.
“May I offer anyone coffee?” she asks.
ERMAHGERD, WHAT WILL HAPPEN? WHAT IF THEY WANT TEA INSTEAD?