Unlucky thirteen but not for me because this finally spells the end of the odyssey of poorly written ballsack that has been the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. I've been asked a few times if I'll recap Grey, the latest mutation from the laptop of EL James in which she rehashes the entire first book from Christian's perspective because I suppose we'll need something to burn for warmth after the apocalypse. And the answer to that is I'm sorry but no fucking way and also, why do you hate me? My blood pressure is dicey enough at the best of times, so this is the end of the Tedious Fuckery journey, but fear not, because soon I'll be back to the lovely and non-rage-inducing silliness of Sweet Valley and it's going to be such a massive flipping relief, let me tell you.
So! Let's finish this bitch off once and for all! And thank you for sticking with me. You guys are lovely.
(Catch up: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 aaaaand 12.)
Christian starts telling Ana all about how he and Elena started banging back when he was fifteen or sixteen or whatever and Ana's reaction the whole way through it is "Do I want to hear this?", which, after three books of obsessing over Elena and desperately wanting Christian to talk to her and tell her stuff, leads me to wonder; "are you fucking kidding me?" The gist is that he was doing work in the back garden of the Lincoln's house, Elena brought him some lemonade, he made some smart remark, she slapped him, kissed him and slapped him again before walking back into the house like nothing happened. He was a tortured, lonely, sexy adolescent with a wheelbarrow full of issues and her predatory banging made him cop on and sort his life out, apparently.
He goes on about how meeting Ana changed everything and how his life before he met her suddenly seemed "dull, empty, mediocre". Which, incidentally, would be a frankly generous review of this entire series.
Their conversation goes on for-fucking-ever and essentially goes in circles, so we have this exchange on one page:
“I fell in love,” he whispers.
I stop breathing. He caresses my cheek.
“So did I,” I murmur with the little breath I have left.
His eyes soften. “I know,” he mouths.
Hallelujah! I smile shyly at him. “Finally,” I whisper.
Followed not two pages later by:
"Your stupid stunt”—he stops—“that saved my sister,” he whispers, his words full of relief, awe, and disbelief. “That’s how I know.”
“Really know that you love me.”
I frown. “You do?”
They are quite literally the most tedious couple that have ever existed. Mrs Jones and Taylor need to orchestrate their escape, pronto. Christian then tells Ana how he tried to go see Dr. Flynn after storming out on her, but he was at a school parents evening. (“Ironic,” I whisper. Christian smirks in agreement. Kill me. Kill me now.) So he ended up walking and walking and before he knew it, he found himself outside Elena's salon, she invited him for a drink and tried to make a pass at him. Christian recoiled from her, she backed off and said she missed his friendship and that she sees his life is with Ana now, so they said goodbye and Christian said he wouldn't see her again. Guys, this whole conversation goes on for about eight and a half pages. It's such a last-ditch attempt at wrapping everything up and yet achieves nothing of the sort.
On Monday morning, Ana wakes "with a start", presumably because Christian isn't beside her and decides she's going to go to work.
It’s Monday, and I spent all of yesterday lounging about in bed. Christian only let me go out briefly to see Ray. Honestly, he’s still such a control freak. I smile fondly. My control freak.
My husband has such a tight leash on me that I'm barely allowed to see my stepfather who almost died recently and is still recuperating in hospital! IT'S SO ADORABLE! Ana gets dressed in something sexy to make Christian want to fuck her, as he's actually listened to the lady doctor's advice and still hasn't had sex with Ana. She heads to the kitchen, where he's eating breakfast and to the surprise of exactly no one, he immediately insists that she's not going to work, as the doctor told her to take a week off.
I slide onto a bar stool beside him and hoist my skirt up a little. Mrs. Jones places a cup of tea in front of me.“You look good,” Christian says. I cross my legs. “Very good. Especially here.” He traces a finger over the bare flesh that shows above my thigh-highs. My pulse quickens as his finger runs across my skin. “This skirt is very short,” he murmurs, vague disapproval in his voice as his eyes follow his finger.
“Is it? I hadn’t noticed."
Mrs Jones holds her hand over the burning ring of the oven hob, just to feel something. Anything. A smile comes to her face as she pictures herself surreptitiously lacing two plates of scrambled eggs with poison. "Enjoy your breakfast, Mr. Grey. Mrs. Grey." Enjoy it, you fucks. No more mornings spent trying not to vomit while you practically dry hump each other on the breakfast bar and act like I'm not even here. No more picking up after you in your sex room, cleaning jizz off carpets and washing your janky vibrators. Turning her attention back to Ana's breakfast, she felt a little better after her murderous daydream. Soon.....soon.
Ahem. Anyway, it turns out that Christian isn't going to work that day, so Ana decides not to either.
“I’m not sure this look is suitable for the workplace,” he murmurs.
“Well, since I’m not going to work, that’s a moot point.”
“Moot,” I mouth.
They go to the site of their new house and see how Elliot is getting on with the work there, and he reckons that they'll be able to move in before Christmas.
Holy cow - Christmas overlooking the Sound. I can’t wait. A bubble of excitement blooms inside me. I have visions of us trimming an enormous tree while a copper-haired little boy looks on in wonder.
You're due in May, you fucking dope.
They have a little wander around the house and go for a picnic in some long grass nearby, apparently out of the sight of the construction crew, and continue to talk shite. Christian has been taking work calls the entire time because there's nothing more romantic than listening to your husband being snappy on the phone to his subordinates while dicking around in a meadow. The last call he takes makes him sit bolt upright and get super serious all of a sudden.
The change in his mood is instant. Gone is my teasing, flirtatious husband, replaced by a cold, calculating master of the universe. He narrows his eyes for a moment then gives me a cool, chilling smile. A shiver runs down my back.
No wait, there's nothing more romantic than being genuinely afraid of your husband and his sudden changes in mood. Oooh.
Apparently Elena's ex-husband is the one who bailed out Jack Hyde when he was in custody, so Christian calls Ros and has her do some things with the shares he owns in Lincoln Timber that mean the ex (who he calls Linc, so is he Linc Lincoln? Who knows! Who cares!) has now been fucked over and bankrupted or something. Years ago, he beat up Elena when he found out that she was fucking Christian and now getting Jack out of jail was the last straw.
“I didn’t mean to frighten you,” he whispers.
“You didn’t,” I lie.
He arches a brow, amused.
“You just took me by surprise,” I whisper, then swallow. Christian is really quite scary sometimes.
Then it's time to fuck, which they do right there in the meadow and I don't care how out of the sight of the crew working on the house they think they are, if there's anyone on the roof then they're getting the whole show. The sex scene goes on for four entire pages and features this immortal line:
My panties disintegrate.
Because Christian can't just move them aside, he has to physically rip through them because he's a passionate and super strong vampire, I mean billionaire.
Christian previously mentioned that he missed doing his (terrible, irresponsible) Dom thing, so a few days later, Ana puts on some sex clothes and kneels by the bedroom door with Christian's sex jeans folded neatly on the floor beside her and (OF COURSE) emails him from the next fucking room WHY OH WHY WON'T YOU JUST TEXT EACH OTHER WHY. He arrives in and sees what Ana wants, puts on his sex pants and leads her to the playroom.
EXCEPT NOT REALLY, AS THERE'S A TOTALLY RIDICULOUS RAMBLING EPILOGUE TO GET THROUGH FIRST. SURPRISE, MOTHERFUCKERS.
Ana is lying on a blanket outside "The Big House" enjoying the peace and quiet and because this author is the legit fucking worst, we get a flashback to "last night at our home in Escala" and at first I thought it was a flashback to the scene that ended the last chapter but it isn't, it's the previous night at this new later point in time because that's totally fucking necessary. Ana fills us in on how Christian flogged her arse and rode her and then we section break back to Ana on the blanket. Christian is lying beside her and puts his hand on her pregnant belly.
“How’s my daughter?”
“She’s dancing.” I laugh.
“Dancing? Oh yes! Wow. I can feel her.” He grins as Blip Two somersaults inside me.
“I think she likes sex already.”
WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Then, another goddamn section break has Ana waking up to the sound of her son squealing in delight and playing with Christian and I guess we're still on Ana lying on the blanket day? Who the fuck knows. Their son is called Teddy and Taylor's daughter Sophie is there too, who asks if she can take Teddy for a walk.
“Don’t go too far.”
“No, Mr. Grey.” Sophie’s hazel eyes are wide and serious. I think she’s a little frightened of Christian.
Cool, your husband frightens ten year old girls. Definitely a fucking keeper.
Christian tries to convince Ana to stop working (again) and she brings up the possibility of naming their daughter after his birth mother (whose name was actually Ella, rather than The Crack Whore, as this entire series would have you believe) but that make Christian cross and Ana immediately backs down.
Shit...I don’t want to anger him.
Anyway, won't they have to call her Carlace or Grarla?
In the meantime there's been a whole story arc about Teddy getting a popsicle and dropping it on the ground and being upset about it and I have no idea why all this extraneous bullshit is required oh my god will this nightmare never end. They all head towards the house and there's a mention of Taylor fixing an old motorbike which was the only interesting thing in the last eleven pages of epilogue. Then we hear about Christian reading The Lorax to Teddy at bedtime and HEY ANOTHER FUCKING FLASHBACK ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME EL JAMES.
Ana's in labour and the doctor is saying they need to do a C-section.
“About fucking time!” Christian growls at her.
Nice to see that he's consistent in being a cunt to the healthcare professionals that look after his wife. Ana has her C-section and the only reason we have to endure her going on about the whole thing and how scared Christian looks is literally because Twilight has a delivery scene so this does too. Thankfully Christian manages to stop short of biting off the umbilical cord like he's Brian Blessed and the whole thing is ultimately pointless and serves no purpose in this epilogue. Then we're back to the house and Ana says she was thinking about Teddy's birth.
Christian blanches and cups my belly.
“I am not going through that again. Elective caesarian this time.”
“No, Ana. You nearly fucking died last time. No.”
Oh, YOU can't go through that again, can you Christian? And tell me, how has your C-section scar healed up? Did you get stretch marks? How is your vagina these days? Also, not your fucking choice so shut the hell up. Then Christian sets up a train set for Teddy because it's his birthday the following day and Ana tells us how everyone is coming over for his birthday party and just when I'm starting to wonder if I'm actually in Hell and this epilogue is never actually going to end and I'm trapped here forever, IT FINALLY FUCKING DOES.
Oh, apart from the Author's Note that details a conversation that Christian had with the bank manager to explain away how Ana could withdraw an insane amount of money with no notice, a "Bonus Materials" chapter of "Fifty's First Christmas", written from the infuriating perspective of baby Christian's first Christmas with the Greys AND THEN another fucking chapter which is their first meeting from the first book from Christian's perspective.
To all of which I say...