Yikes! I’m soooo far behind posting everything…Merry Effing Christmas, I guess.
Remember the clever, witty, surprise ending of chapter 22? No. I’m just kidding, there wasn’t one. Here’s what actually happened: Ana was busy insulting Christian with text messages, and thinking he was safely stowed across the continent. Then he texted her from the very bar where she was drinking with her mother. He came all the way to Georgia to stalk her!
Because that is not creepy at all. AT ALL. I mean if your overbearing, control freaky boyfriend stalks you and your mother in a bar across town, that’s pretty creepy. But at least he can pretend like he was there for some legitimate reason, or by coincidence. But if your creepy stalker boyfriend follows you across a whole continent, the creepiness level is well over 9000.
So, on we go to chapter 23. Because we’re almost done, there’s no sense stopping the Crazy Train until it’s safely in Whackjob Station.
I was pretty sure that Ana was going to pass off Christian’s stalkery-stalking by saying that he doesn’t know any better, because this is how she glosses over many of his flaws. Luckily for my blood pressure, even Ana gets that this is a little whacked. She is worried that Christian is angry (I wonder why, Ana?) but he pretends to be totally sane and pleasant. She’s worried that her mom will be horrified, but true to her married-four-times instincts for people reading, Ana’s mom thinks Christian’s creepiness is charming. She takes it as an expression of his deep love for Ana. Well, I know where Ana gets it now…
Christian pours on the charm as he introduces himself to Ana’s mother. Ana is stunned and thinks, “How does he know her name?” She *is* a bit of a stun-bunny, isn’t she? Maybe he just Googled it? Or looked it up in the phone book? It can’t be that difficult to find out. It’s not that amazing. But Ana treats him like the Amazing Kreskin. One can’t help but suspect that Ana told him her mother’s name, but forgot.
Christian decides to drink with them for a bit and orders gin and tonic. He asks for a slice of cucumber or a lemon wedge depending on the brand of gin. Holy hell, Ana thinks, only Christian could make a meal out of ordering a drink! Holy hell, Raven Lunatick thinks, only Ana would think a slice of cucumber and a lemon wedge is a meal.
Ana’s mom excuses herself to the bathroom, even though she has just been. Subtle! I’m offended on behalf of all readers that the author thought she needed to spell this out. She couldn’t have excused herself, and raised an eyebrow meaningfully at Ana? Apparently not. Ana has to exclaim to herself, “Mom! You’ve just been!”
Our crappy couple then argue over Mrs. Robinson – Christian’s first lover from his teen years, and who he still sees on occasion. When Ana is drunk, she turns into overly attached girlfriend, and she calls Mrs. Robinson a child molester. Christian’s virgin ears have never heard such a thing. He’s shocked. Shocked, I tells ya. Just as they are getting good and angried up, Ana’s mom comes back from the bathroom. She invites Christian to dinner on Friday (sadly I have no idea what day it is currently supposed to be). Christian then excuses himself, but not before giving Ana his room number. In case she wants it. You know, for whatever…
Ana’s mom remarks about the unresolved sexual tension in the room and fans herself. Eeeeeeeew! Then she sends Ana off to “talk” with Christian. Yeah. Because that’s what is going to happen. Talking. She tells Ana that she’s a big girl, and if she doesn’t come home that’s A OK!
The funny part is that most likely they’ll sit in adjacent rooms and send each other lame, innuendo-filled emails. It’s certainly happened more often than the sex.
Ana then blushes, “stars and stripes red.”
What. The. Actual. Fuck. Did I just read?!
How do you blush this colour? Has she been genetically modified with chameleon cells? I just. Can’t. Even. And here’s a pro tip: adding this patent ridiculism does *not* negate all the Britishisms the characters use. I’m just saying.
So, of course, forced to choose between her mom and her abusive stalker boyfriend (who she still doesn’t consider a proper boyfriend) she picks Stalky McStalkerton. As a wise man once said, “Headdesk. Headdesk. Headdesk.”
Ana heads up to Christian’s room and he blinks in complete surprise when he answers the door. He is completely surprised that she would show up. Totally. This makes no sense. He was clearly angling for her to come up to his room. Anyway, he’s on a business call and goes into the other room to finish up. Ana helps herself to an orange juice (why stop drinking now?) and waits.
Christian returns and announces that he never loved Mrs. Robinson. Ana is relieved. Christian declares that they can either have sex now, or Ana can just leave. See what I meant about the talking? Apparently that’s what the kids are calling it these days…
So…yeah. The sex.
They have sex in the bathroom, which despite being a swanky hotel bathroom, is just gross. Who does that? Then, because Ana has her period, they decide the best course of action is to have sex in a humungous bath!!! There just aren’t enough exclamation points in the world to convey the ickiness of this plan. Then, they can take a scalding shower in bleach, while scrubbing frantically with red-hot steel wool. Because eeeew.
After all that Christian explains that he was well on his way to becoming a crack-whore and that Mrs. Robinson ‘saved him.’ See? All kids need is a little structure, and a firm hand. With a riding crop in it. You all can make your own ‘spare the rod’ jokes. They write themselves, don’t they?
Ana realises that Chrsitian’s chest is covered in what are probably cigarette burns. Well, that might be interesting if I cared one bit about his character. I’m not made of stone, you know. I regularly do care about fictional characters. I cry every damn time Harry Potter dies. Like full-on heaving sobs. So…yeah. They argue a bit more, sex it up a bit more, and Ana decides she probably can’t sign his contract after all. Despite the reputation of this book, they have only ever used the playroom once. There has been a serious lack of BDSM in this book. Just regular sex, and the vague idea that they could have kinky sex. Any time now. Just watch them…
Christian ends off the chapter by proposing to do something surprising. Tomorrow. This had damn well better be good, seeing as how he is richer than Scrooge McDuck (and 100 times less likeable). Now I’m going to curl up into a ball and weep for humanity.