In Which I Realise that We Are Almost Done this Book

I am so thrilled that I’m almost done this book. It’s like realising the dentist has finished your root canal and you just have to rinse a couple of times before you can leave. So that’s awesome. Of note: this chapter also contains the single best line in the whole book, and the one before it even. It happens in the middle of something else of a highly WTF nature, so I want to mention it here so we can savour it in its full deliciousness.

“The penny drops and rattles uncomfortably around and around in my empty head.”

Just let that sink in for a while. She describes herself as having an empty head. She’s not even being self-deprecating. It’s written very matter of factly.

Yeah.

So we pick up chapter 21with Ana and Christian skipping off to the play room for some dirty filthy sex. Outside the door Christian asks Ana if she’s really sure. Yep, she’s sure. But she just wants him to know, for no particular reason, and definitely not because she was snooping through his stuff, that she doesn’t want him to take any pictures.

Christian frowns suspiciously, and Ana is briefly scared that she has outed herself. But it passes and they head inside for the sex. Just standing in the Sexy Room is enough to send them both into paroxysms of pleasure. Ana is literally already panting.

Ana tells us that her inner goddess has already stripped naked and is standing in line for the sex. In line? With who?!  Are there that many personalities? Are they all going to have sex separately?

Ana strips and Christian makes a big show of tying the tie around her neck like a leash.

“What shall we do with you now,” Christian asks.

I don’t know, but just fucking do it, this is getting irritating.

Christian’s eyes are once again described as ‘molten grey.’ What does that even mean? Like liquid mercury? I don’t think that’s what she’s getting at. I mean mercury is a liquid at room temperature so his eyes are warmed slightly with some kind of tepid desire?

Christian shocks Ana by suggesting that he’s going to put a finger in her anus, which Ana calls “there.” This is going to be one confusing sex scene if Ana continues to call all her parts “there.”

Christian selects some nipple clamps and points out some of the features. Ana is thoroughly confused and tells us. “I’ll never catch up.” No Ana, you won’t. You’re kinda dumb.

But her inner goddess seems to know what’s going on as she “scissor kicks” her way onto a table so they can get. It. On. Whatever “it” is. Christian cuffs and blindfolds Ana, who is busy marvelling at how sexy all this is. She wonders, totally unironically, if one can lust after one’s husband like this. They are going to be married after all. I’m beginning to think she was raised by a troop of monkeys in the jungle, because she doesn’t really know anything about human interactions.

Christian then surprises Ana by rubbing her down with some heavily scented massage oil. Hope she’s not allergic! They never ask each other anything, so who knows? Unfortunately for us, she doesn’t die, so we have to finish out this awful book.

The sex does in fact turn out to be a little confusing. They refer to every orifice as “there” so when Christian inserts what seems to be a vibrating butt plug (she calls it a plug, but it could just be a vibrator) I’m not 100% sure where it got inserted. Later Christian does in fact put a finger in her butthole, so I’m guessing the other thing must be in her vagina. Nothing says sexy like not quite knowing what is going on!

Ana describes her orgasm as falling down into a ravine. A wide, wide ravine. That’s straight from the book.

She is a bit looney toons…

Then they have sex on the bed, but they don’t bother describing it, so I assume breakfast is on the way. They make stilted pillow talk and then lapse into a cloying heart to heart. They fade to black for more sex, and then finally(!) some damn breakfast. They get up, and decide to have shower sex instead, but we skip that too, because dammit it’s time for breakfast!

Ana showcases her vaunted culinary skills by poaching salmon steaks with lemon (gasp!), boiling potatoes, and making a mystery salad. She then *emails* Christian to tell him lunch is ready. He’s in the frigging next room. Why would she not just walk to the door, or call out, or at least text for God’s sake?

Ana texts Kate, whom she’ll be seeing at Christian’s birthday party tonight. Kate tells her she’s looking forward to a looooooong chat. Geez, she means it – look at all those o’s.

Christian doesn’t come out for lunch, so Ana goes to get him. Christian mentions how much he likes Ana’s sundress, but then tells her she’d better not wear it out of the house because Ana isn’t allowed to look good in public. Ana gives him the big W.

To punish her for thinking about wearing her dress in public, Christian calls Ana’s father and tells him about their marriage plans, which Ana had wanted to do. Ana’s shocked and angry, but talks to Ray (her father figure) and convinces him it’s ll okay by telling him that Christian is her “happily ever after.” Apparently that’s all he needs to hear, because Ray starts crying and tells them to visit some time.

They finally eat, even though the food is probably cold and gelatinous by now. Over lunch the whole “I was snooping through your stuff and found your lewd photos” thing comes out. Christian assures Ana that it isn’t what she thinks. He didn’t take (and keep) those photos because it was sexy and he wanted mementos, NO! He did it for blackmail purposes. So that makes it all okay!

Well, I’m relieved. I thought for a moment he wanted a reminder of pleasent memories like some kind of gross pervert. But it was actually good, wholesome extortion. That’s just good sense!

Christian does mention in passing that the pictures were supposed to be in his safe, and Ghost-girl ( I forgot her name already) must have moved them when she broke in. No one seems worried about that.

They quickly change the subject to birthday cake, and how Ana is going to make one. Christian goes back to his study to “work” and Ana sneaks away to call her mom before Christian can do it.

She makes a big show of leaving the apartment in her sundress to piss Christian off. It works. Ana is thrilled that she can annoy her fiance so thoroughly. I’m no expert but I suspect that this kind of hijinks is going to get old FAST. Ana’s less fun personality, the one with Dumbledore glasses, berates her from inside her head.

Ana returns with birthday cake ingredients and our crappy couple has awesome, mind-boggling make-up sex. I assume, because we fade out *again*. We do, however, got a long loving description of the chocolate cake, so at least we get something.

At long last they head out to Christian’s surprise/not surprise birthday party at the Grey family manor. Carrick welcomes them warmly and everything seems great until Kate emerges from who knows where and freaks the fuck out.

She pulls Ana into another room, and waves a printed out email in Ana’s face. “What the fuck is this?” she demands. It turn out to be one of her private emails to Christian discussing “the contract.” Remember that?

Ana is aghast, and we end on that happy note. Next chapter I predict a 100% chance of pointless drama, with a 30% possibility of comedic misunderstanding clearing up later in the day.

 

I Join Team Asteroid-Death-From-Space in Chapter 20 of 50 Shades Darker

We have another short chapter and I count that as a win. A win for Team…umm. Not Team Ana or Team Christian. Team Cyborg-Asteroid-Death-From-Space maybe?

I don’t know anymore.

Sooo…last chapter Ana morphed into Scrooge McDuck and agreed to marry Christian in lieu of buying him a birthday present. It’s like Ana thought to herself, what’s the cheapest thing I can get? Oh wait, it’s me! Is that the cheapest shot I could take? Yeah, probably, but I stand by it.

This chapter opens with Christian being very surprised. Very, very surprised. He’s so surprised, in fact, that he forces Ana to state explicitly that she is hereby agreeing to marry him. You know, for the record.

They kiss and spin around like they are doing the Safety Dance. Ana reiterates that she thought Christian was dead. Oh well, who cares what Ana thought? Not Christian that’s for damn sure. He’s all of a sudden angry. Wait a minute, he realises, Ana gave him this surprise gift BEFORE they went to see Christian’s therapist. So that means he has been worrying all these days for no reason.

So he’s mad and then happy because “retribution is in order.” He means sex by the way. Sex is in order. Ana takes a step away from him. She’s pretty sure he is teasing but feels it’s necessary just in case he isn’t. It’s charming how Ana can never really be sure if Christian is going to hit her. And by charming I mean disturbing.

Christian hoists her over his shoulder and drags her squealing to the shower and drops her in with the cold water on full blast. Ana giggles like a mad hyena, and all this leads to another bout of weird creepy shower sex. Ana makes a huge show of washing Christian’s chest even though she knows he doesn’t like it, and he’s repeatedly asked her not to.

The main dynamic of this relationship seems to be stoically putting up with the annoying, even triggering, things your significant other does for the sake of not being alone, and also getting regular sex. Sure, I’m betting lots of real life relationships are exactly like this, but it sure isn’t my idea of an ideal fantasy. Why can’t they both actually like each other? And enjoy doing things that are mutually enjoyable? They don’t actually have any COMMON INTERESTS. I just don’t get it.

Wouldn’t a fantasy relationship involve meeting a person who actually likes the same things you do? Or introduces you to things you like even better? Because 50 Shades isn’t written that way.

Christian makes a show of washing Ana’s hair, and then Ana makes a show of washing Christian’s penis. Ana exclaims, “Oh yes! It’s so arousing.” That dialogue…it’s so…stilted. I’m fairly sure a person who talked like this would fail the Turing test. But! now they are both squeaky clean. Like Tupperware. They proceed to have eeky-squeaky shower sex, I soo hope the movie includes appropriate sound effects, because that’s how I imagined it.

Listen!

Ana takes time out from the sexy times to interact with her Inner Goddess personality and point out that  it…she?…is wearing Harlot Red lipstick. There’s just so much wrong with this passage. So every time they have sex, one of Ana’s personalities shows up dressed like a whore? Because harlot is just a mildly nicer word for whore. So she’s a whore for having sex with one partner ever, in a monogamous relationship? That’s just stupid. And honestly why do I care what her multiple personalities are wearing today?

They lay in the shower for god knows how long after the sex, because they are too lazy to even stand up. Eventually they get out after serious pruning starts to set in. Christian tells her she looks beat. And they make a whole beat = beaten “joke” that doesn’t manage to be even a little bit funny.

Christian finally admits that there was some serious danger happening in that whole helicopter fiasco and they get all emo for a while. Ana chides Christian for being too jealous of José and Ana being together to stop and call anyone after the crash, and Christian waves it off again.

They finally go to sleep, and the next morning Ana gets up early to make Christian breakfast in bed, even though he has a maid who does that, and Ana can’t cook. José is already up and makes the obligatory jokes about Ana marrying Christian because he’s rich. This brief interaction makes Christian’s douche sense go off and he comes out to act all possessive and strut around.

my douchebag senses are tingling

The menfolk then talk about their manly pursuits: fishin’ and huntin’ and killin’ things. After breakfast José leaves and Christian makes a huge deal about him wanting to get into Ana’s pants. Ana tells him to cut it out and he gets all defensive. He’s all, Whoa I don’t want to fight. Except that *he* brought it up out of nowhere to lord over Ana. So let’s just say I’m skeptical.

Ana gives Christian her second present. A wooden model helicopter with solar powered rotors. Christian is as excited as a five year old with a bag of candy. He is apparently lost in wonderment that the blades can spin all by themselves.

“Solar powered, he murmurs. “Wow.”

Then:

“Look at that,” he breathes, examining it closely. What we can already do with this technology.”

Yes. Sweetie. We can make pretty toys. I…I don’t even know. He doesn’t seem to be humouring Ana, but he is way too taken with something that mundane. The guy is supposedly an expert on alternative power sources so this shit ought to be quite old hat for him.

Then Dah Dah Dum! The third present!

Ana cryptically remarks that she isn’t sure whether the present is for her or him and Christian is predictably intrigued. Inside the box is a card asking Christian to do “rude things” to Ana. Honestly. Okay. Rude things, huh? You look really fat in that nightgown. And you’re kind of a bitch too. Also I’m going to make plans to meet you for dinner at eight and then not show up or even call. Rude enough?

Inside the box is the tie from waaaayyyy back in Book One when they used the Red Room that one time. You know, when Ana broke up with him because she didn’t like it? Well, it’s his birthday so she is going to damn well put up with it for him.

For some reason Christian is anxious, even though he’s the one who likes it. And Ana is eager to get it on even though she doesn’t like it. Ana ends the chapter thusly: “Finally!” My thoughts exactly, Ana. My thoughts exactly.

Finally!!!!!!!!

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Chapter 19 0f 50 Shades Darker is Mercifully Short and Sweet

Fucking finally, a short chapter. Halle-frikken-luiah!

Since the chapter is so short, it has to dramatically step up its tedium factor. I guess. Does that make sense? No? Welcome to 50 Shades! We start with an epic pages long montage detailing all the cloying, insipid things Cristian has ever said to Ana. Ana has clearly already pegged Christian as dead and is just waiting for confirmation.

She has somehow gotten back to Christian’s apartment and dragged all of Ana’s friends along for the ride. Christian’s family and staff are all huddled around in little groups waiting for news, and not you know, OUT LOOKING. They are watching the news and talking with ‘the authorities’ about Christian’s disappearance.

Ana begs God for Christian’s life and promises to go to church faithfully if he survives. I am eager to watch this not happen at all. Ana stares into the fireplace like a lobotomized manatee and waits for something to happen.

And then Christian just shows up.

Are we gonna see this again in ORAS?

There’s shrieking and hugging and then anger and accusations. Instead of getting up or moving or anything Ana stays in her chair and stares some more. She thinks about how much Christian’s family loves him and how he just doesn’t know it.

Ana finally gets up to hug Christian, and then she and Christian’s mother alternate between relief at seeing him alive and fury that he didn’t bother to call anyone. Christian tells them his helicopter engines both started on fire; he made an emergency landing and then hitchhiked home. No problem.

He stops to be briefly jealous that José is present and then says, “What’s with the welcoming committee?” He has no idea why his family is there. None. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

Back in chapter 15 Christian sent Taylor to check on Ana at work because she didn’t reply to his emails quickly enough, yet in this chapter, Christian has no idea that he ought to call somebody, anybody to let them know that he is in fact not dead. He was gone long enough that not only were the police involved in a search, but also long enough that the search had been called off.

In all that time it literally never occurred to him to think about anyone else’s feelings for even one second. HE knew he was okay, so what’s the big deal? He’s that asshole who doesn’t use his turn signals because *he* knows where he’s going. He actually starts to get irritated by all these people feeling feelings at him. The nerve!

Christian settles in and tells the long version of his story. Ana gets confused, stops paying attention and describes his watch instead, “an Omega with three small dials.”

It turns out that Christian was taking a detour, and flying extra low to show his passenger the sights on the way back. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to land quickly enough to get the fire out. So he very nearly almost died. From the number of times Carrick (Christian’s soap opera-themed father) mentions the engine fire and how odd it is, it is painfully clear that we are being primed to find out that it was no accident.

Are we about to tangle with Evil Ex number 3? Will there be an epic battle of the bands culminating in a vegan-mind-power boss fight? Here’s a hint Ana: if she has a giant glowy eye attack it with the arrows. You’re welcome.

Christian then apologises for not calling. By way of explanation he claims that he was in too much of a hurry to get back home to stop and call. Then he glares meaningfully at José. Ana fills in the gaps for us – basically Christian was sooo jealous at the thought of José existing at Ana he couldn’t be bothered to call them.

Or, maybe he didn’t call on purpose to make sure it ruined Ana’s night out. It wouldn’t be out of character, considering all the stalking and interfering he’s done up to this point. I mean, he bought the company where Ana works to spite her for refusing to work for him. Soooo yeah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The party breaks up and everyone goes home, except for José who is stuck at Casa Awkwarda for the night. José heads for bed, but not before making an off colour remark about being available next time Ana’s Richie Rich boyfriend goes missing. Ana knows some real class acts, I must say.

Ana goes after Christian, who has gone off to find some supper. Christian makes sure to emphasise how much José is still in love with Ana. Because that’s what’s important right now. Christian reluctantly admits he had a few scary moments landing Charlie Tango, and that all his thoughts were about Ana.

Ana then realises that it is past midnight and technically Christian’s birthday. She gives him the first present. The one she bought in a tourist shop. It’s a keychain. A cheap, crappy keychain. But!!! It says “Yes.” Her birthday present is agreeing to marry him. Way to cop out of buying a gift, Ana!

And that’s it. Super short. Super sweet. Super insipid.

Ana and Christian Join the 1/6 of a Mile High Club in Chapter 18 of Fifty Shades Darker

The surprise from last chapter is surprising in the sense that I didn’t expect it, but I also don’t particularly care, so there’s that. Christian takes Ana to see a beautiful but somewhat rundown house with huge grounds and a view of ‘the Sound.” My American geography is pretty lacking, but some part or other of the Pacific Ocean is clearly visible.

Ana doesn’t realise that they are there to look at real estate, so she is confused about whom they are here to visit. She is immediately jealous of the real estate agent for being beautiful and well dressed, but then decides that the real estate agent is in fact jealous of her, because she is dating Christian. All this before the agent can say one word.

Christian basically ignores the agent and takes Ana straight to a back window to admire the view. Ana claims that now Christian’s intentions are perfectly clear. Are they?

Ana is wonderstruck by all the beauteous beauty. Christian reveals that this could all be hers if only she would stop that infernal thinking and just marry him already. Ana is surprised; her mouth drops open. Yeah, apparently his intentions weren’t so clear. It slowly dawns on her that the lady they just met is the real estate agent, and not some rival for Christian’s affection.

Oh, and Christian would totally tear down this awful tacky house to build a futuristic green-washed house. This causes a minor tiff as Ana likes the house the way it is – broken down and dumpy. They are interrupted by the realtor who has the unmitigated gall to want to show them the house. Ana muses randomly about how much she hates horses, and and and oh my god this sucks!!!!!!

Sorry. I just had a moment there. Christian asks if Ana likes the house, and when she says yes, he gasps dramatically and they make out for a bit.

They head out to “The Mile High Club” for dinner. Apparently rich people enjoy crappy puns more than regular people do. The club is on the seventy-sixth floor of the Columbia Tower, so that’s roughly 822 feet. There are 5280 feet in a mile. So more like the One-Sixth of a Mile High Club.

Just sayin’.

In the car on the way there Ana asks if Christian will sell his penthouse to afford the house they just looked at. Christian practically facepalms at this, and tells her he can definitely afford both. Then Ana asks if he enjoys being rich, and he gives her the only appropriate type of answer – a sarcastic one. Christian then has to remind Ana about the reason they are going for dinner in the first place: her promotion. Ana had forgotten about that.

They flirt lamely at the bar while they wait for a table. Ana asks Christian if he is flirting with her. It is supposed to be cute and coy, but she asks so many times over the course of the book that I’m starting to wonder if she really doesn’t know. For fun, Christian tells her to take off her underwear while they eat, even though Christian doesn’t do anything in return.

Ana heads to the bathroom to strip off, and wonders why Christian affects her so. Well, it’s because you’re a poorly written Mary Sue, sweetie. Don’t feel bad, you couldn’t have known. Then we get a surreal paragraph about Ana’s inner goddess, involving feather boas and fuck-me shoes. I just. Don’t. Even. You know, I’m pretty sure they can medicate that.

Back at the table Christian has already ordered, because who cares what Ana wants to eat? They eat oysters, make lame flirty small talk, and then they eat sea bass, a food which Animal Crossing has totally ruined for me forever. At this point, I’m just feeling sorry for the poor waiter. I hope he is well paid.

Christian refuses to make out with Ana at the table, and this is even more super hotterer than actually making out. For some reason, Ana brings up the Non-Disclosure Agreement from the first book, and Christian tells her to throw it away.

Christian tells Ana, “I’m very glad you’re wearing a dress.” And then this happens:

The word bam is actually used here.

Ana fellates some asparagus, and then bites the tip off! She tells us Christian moans because that is so hot. I’m thinking that it’s a more different sound, for a more different reason. Bam, indeed.

They decide to go home and finger fuck in the elevator, with like a half dozen other people stuck along for the ride. Ana finds it sooper hawt that they can have sex so stealthily. “They have no idea what we’re up to.” Oh Ana, they know. They are just afraid to look back and see what’s going on. Then they’d have to stab there own eyes out. I mean, you guys aren’t being exactly quiet about it. Christian tells her not to come in the elevator because he needs that for later. Ummmm…okay. Female orgasms aren’t exactly a scarce resource, but whatever.

Back in the Saab, Christian asks her if she’d like to have sex in the car. Ana is delighted but Christian says no again. Why does he keep asking?! They get to the magic sex elevator and make out some more. Christian begs Ana to marry him, and Ana begs for more time to think about it. All these interactions seem like Bilbo playing riddles with Gollum, except with gross, barely credible sex.

They have sexy sex in the foyer, and Christian asks Ana to do something extra naughty – keep her eyes open during the sex. But, Ana can’t do that, it’s too naughty. Right about now, I’m realising that the BDSM part is me having to read this. That is some meta shit right there. Honestly, that’s about as out there as it gets in this book. That must be why boring middle aged women like it so much.

They have sex an undisclosed number of times but don’t bother describing any of them. And why should they? Pervert. Ana falls asleep imagining Christian as a boy again. It’s really grossing me out. Every time they have sex, she fantasises about Christian as a child. It’s just. Wrong.

Then it’s the next day and Ana gets ready for work. She thinks of a great idea for Christian’s birthday present (which is so secret she can’t even tell *us* what it is), but it definitely requires riffling through his underwear drawer. Things seem to be going along well for our crappy couple, so it’s time to introduce more Fakey Drama™. Ana finds a box full of pictures of Christian’s old subs, taken in the Red Room. Ana is shocked! Shocked and appalled! She finds the sexy fuck tie from book one (which she reveals is what she came for) takes it and hurries out.

Ana is so distraught that even the maid asks her what is wrong. She asks her for the key to the playroom, takes something that she can’t tell us what it is, and then heads to work. On the upside, Christian is already gone so he can’t forbid her to drive her car. On the drive in, she thinks about revealing her photo-finding secret instead of, you know, the road and driving on it. In the end she decides it’s better if Christian doesn’t know about her snooping.

Ana gets to work, and her days of diligent editor-ing are already over. It’s time to email Christian! Christian hints at all the places they could be having sex. Ana hints at her snooping expedition, even though she was not going to tell him. It’s a good thing she isn’t in charge of any national secrets. She would be like the worst spy ever.

Well, her first instincts were correct, and now Christian is all mad and refuses to answer her. She reminds him she is going for drinks with José, and he still doesn’t reply. Ana flips out and immediately starts phoning him. She gets the voicemail, which sounds clipped and angry. I’m not sure if Ana is projecting here or if he actually changed his voicemail to sound extra rude.

Well that leaves Ana with no other choice. “Reluctantly I continue my work.”

Employee of the year!

Ana’s phone rings and it still isn’t Christian. It’s Kate, the only relatively normal person in this story. Kate turns drinks with José into a college reunion by inviting herself and her brother along. José shows up at the office, and Claire, receptionist and refugee from 1957, buzzes Ana to tell her how dreamy he is.

Ana’s work day is finally over! She heads out to the bar, and José regales her with the story of how his first post-graduation art show paid off all his loans and left him with enough money to throw around. Credible! He throws in the obligatory insult about Christian, because apparently everyone Ana knows is a petty asshole.

Kate and Ethan show up, and José is immediately jealous of him too. Ana heads to the bathroom to text Christian, although I have no idea why she couldn’t just do it at the table. She gets back to the table and tells José that she is worried about Christian. And then like magic: the phone call.

It’s Christian’s brother Elliot, calling to say that Christian’s helicopter has disappeared. “Charlie Tango?” Ana whispers.

I almost get the feeling that Elliot ought to have specified that the helicopter AND Christian were missing. But who cares? Christian is dead! Maybe Ana can date somebody normal and healthy this time! I’m sure that’s what the next book is about, right? Right?!

Don’t ruin this for me.

Chapter 17 of Fifty Shades Darker: In Which We Find Tedious, Barely Believable Plot Points

Chapter 17 starts with early morning sexy times which involve hissing, for some reason. It also involves Christian showing off his amateur magician skillz, because he produces condom packets out of thin air just when he needs them. Ta-da!

During all this, Christian’s eyes manage to be glacial, volcanic, stormy, and blazing all at the same time. Those are some crazy-ass funky eyes. Ana is taken with a fit of giggles, and Christian tells her that sex is not the appropriate time for, you know, laughing or having fun.

“I need to stop you, and I think I know how,” he says ominously…

I love the choice of words here. Should sex ever be ominous? It almost sounds like he’s going to kill her. At least then the book would be over. Ugh.

And then it’s breakfast time! Because (yet again!) why describe the sex when we can skip straight to breakfast? The breakfast is granola – good wholesome granola. I’m not sure what kind of novel you thought this was?!

Ana is now dressed all in grey for her job that she has but doesn’t have anymore. She’s the personal assistant to the guy who just got very fired for trying to rape her. So, just exactly what is she going to do? Doesn’t matter! Christian owns the company and he says she still has a job.

They head off to work, and Christian finally lets Ana drive her own car. She asks to turn on the radio, but Christian says no.

“I want you to concentrate,” he says sharply.

Ana snaps that she can concentrate just fine with the radio on. They listen to King of Pain, by the Police. They make some lame innuendos about it, and I want them never to mention it again. It is one of my favourite songs. In fact, I choose to believe that they never mentioned it in the first place.

It turns out Ana can’t concentrate with the radio on. Instead of paying attention to the road, Ana mentally catalogs all the phone calls she will be able to make now that she doesn’t have to pretend to work. She wonders how she is going to fill her day, and who her new boss will be. Christian tries to snap her out of her daydream, but she immediately lapses into a montage of learning to drive.

They do make it to the parking lot without an accident, more by luck than anything else. They get all emo, and Christian bemoans the fact that Ana requires more than one day to think about his marriage proposal. They make kissy face until Ana insists that she has to go to work. She has important work to work at, you know, at work.

Ana arrives at work and is immediately promoted to her old boss’s position of editor. Yeah, that’s believable. It may just be the least believable thing to ever happen in this book. The HR lady tells her that Jack had “high hopes” for her. Well, he did, but those hopes involved putting his penis inside her vagina, so…maybe not the best qualifications for the job. Oh well, they’ll find out soon enough!

The promotion is so unbelievable that Ana doesn’t believe it. She immediately calls Christian on her Blackberry to accuse him of interfering. Christian is furious that she would ever suggest that he might interfere in her job. Like by firing her boss. Or, you know, buying the company. He would never, ever do that. For good measure he yells at her for not calling on her Blackberry, except that she did. Force of habit I guess.

Ana spends the day doing editor things, or so we are led to believe. She tells us that she reads the detailed job description until the HR lady buzzes her three and a half hours later. That is some detailed job description. She is so busy she doesn’t get to make any of those phone calls she was daydreaming about. Her two lunch dates, Mia and Ethan both show up and she sends them off for lunch together in a bout of emergency matchmaking. Ana briefly worries about Christian’s reaction, because no one asked his permission before sending Mia out on a date.

Because apparently his permission is necessary before sending his adult sister out for lunch with a man.

But it is all better in just a moment because Christian has sent roses! And a love note! That excuses any and all behaviour.They exchange some email, and Ana proposes a picnic and I hope to God that doesn’t happen. Please don’t make me go on a picnic with these two idiots. It’ll be like going on a picnic with Zapp Brannigan and Kwazy Kat. Sweet lord.

At the end of the day Ana suddenly remembers that it is Christian’s birthday soon. She ducks into a souvenir store to buy him a surprise, because if there’s one thing millionaires love, it is cheap mass produced tchotchkes. Our crappy couple meets up and Ana tells us he is dressed like a ‘bad boy’ in jeans and a white T-shirt. Ummmm…okaaaaay. Maybe in 50’s themed musical theatre. She exclaims, “You’ve showered.” As if that is something extra special. Well, for her it is, but Ana, normal people shower daily.

They head off to meet Christian’s therapist, Dr. Flynn. He starts the appointment under the impression that this will be a couples therapy session, but he quickly sends Christian out of the room. He proceeds to tell Ana about all about Christian’s past and all his diagnoses. To hell with client confidentiality. Dr. Quackenstein also tells Ana that she has basically cured Christian of all his past ‘illnesses.’ That is some solid professional assessment. See ladies? You can change your man! A doctor just said so! It must be true. He may not have a real “degree”, or actual ‘training” but you can trust him.

Ana has trouble absorbing “all these long words,” that Dr. Flynn uses. It’s funny because Dr. Flynn doesn’t really use any long words, and the two he does use – parasomnia, and haphephobia – he explains immediately. Ana tells him that she is afraid that Christian is a sadist. Dr Flynn tells her that is not a thing anymore.

“Dr. Flynn has lost me again. I blink at him. He smiles kindly at me.”

That speaks for itself. Doesn’t it? He gets that she doesn’t really know what’s going on. As a general rule. Then Christian barges back into the room, and tells them the session is over, so it is over.

Ana’s phone rings and she is scared because it is Jose. It’s a good thing they are out of the therapists office by this time because this is all kinds of wrong. She isn’t worried because she hates talking to Jose, but rather because Christian gets insane jealous rages when she does. Ana pretends everything is hunky dorey and invites Jose out for drinks even though Christian frowns and frets the whole time. After Ana hangs up, Christian makes the obligatory douche-remark about Jose ‘trying anything,’ which leads into a fight about Ana driving. Her own car. Christian allows it, but insults her and backseat drives the whole time. Eventually Ana is so angry that she pulls over and has a hissy fit on the sidewalk while Christian pretends that he doesn’t want to drive.

Ana is refuses to get back into the car until Christian agrees to drive. Which is what he wanted in the first place. Christian is all smug after that, and Ana has to tell him she does not want to argue. That’s funny. You did just a minute ago.

Then Christian mentions that he wants her to be “more” than just a sexual partner. The very word more (even though nobody ever explains what they mean by that) sends Ana into fits of ecstasy. Christian makes a sudden turn onto a street Ana doesn’t recognise, and we end the chapter with Christian telling her that their destination is a surprise.

Surprise Ana! You’re going to sleep with the fishes tonight!