So now we are in beautiful non-skiing-weather Aspen. And still not much happens in terms of story.
Ana is all wowed because Aspen is super Richie Rich and amazing. She talks about coming back in the winter to ski, and Christian informs her that she is not allowed to ski ever as it is too dangerous. Skiing is not too dangerous for Christian btw – he is allowed to do it. So I guess she has to stay home and make the sandwiches while everyone else gets to ski?
Anyway, it doesn’t matter now because it’s the summer and there is no skiing to be had. Going to Aspen in the summer comes across as a calculated move by Christian: all there is to do is fishing and shopping. So Ana can pick from those.
But first, of course, we have to get to the house. Taylor shows up at the airport with a minivan and has to apologise to Christian for the embarrassing ride. Then the whole gang (Asstian, Ethan, Mia, Kate, and Elliot) loads up into the Mystery Machine and heads for the haunted mansion…er…I mean, Christian’s super swanky chalet in Aspen.
On the way, there’s lots of boring small talk that really doesn’t advance the story line in any way, shape, or form. Ana notices that Kate isn’t talking much, and seems to be brooding over something. Ana can’t figure out what it is but decides that it must be because of Gia. Remember Gia, the so called slutty architect; the one who Ana hates for no good reason? Ana remembers that Gia designed Elliot’s Aspen home, so that must be what is bothering Kate. Does that make any sense to any of you? Because it sure as shit doesn’t make any sense to me.
They get to the house and Ana describes it as ‘modern and stark’. Because rich people in 50Shadesland only like one style of architecture and décor – white, white, and more white. Ana is a bit overwhelmed when she realises that Christian has staff here too. I guess she thought they’d be roughing it? Like a high end camping trip?
Christian introduces Ana to the housekeeper, Carmella. She’s an elderly granny-type so Ana doesn’t need to be irrationally jealous of her. So that’s nice I guess. She says that Christian’s tongue “caresses my name…” What does that even mean? Think about it: her name is Anastasia. How do you caress those particular letter sounds with your tongue? Those are stops and sibilants and what’s N? I’ll look it up.
Now if her name was Louisa, or Amaria, or say, I don’t know…BELLA, I could totally buy that. You could totally caress an L or an R sound with your tongue. Try it. Seriously. Do it. Nobody can hear you.
Christian makes a huge show of carrying Ana over the threshold like a newlywed. The interior is all white and cream, and it makes Ana think of Gia again. They go on an uneventful tour of the house where we are assured that everything is plush and super expensive.
Ana makes a point of mentioning to Christian how much it bothers her being in a house that Gia designed. Seriously. She blurts out that she knows Elliot screwed Gia. Christian is all, “Elliot’s fucked most of Seattle, Ana.”
This is, of course, the only proper answer. Ana is scandalised. But then she gets teary, and Christian gets emo, and they make out for a bit. Christian insists they go have lunch so we’re cheated out of sex again. The gang eats lunch and then they decide to break up into boys and girls for activity time. The boys go fishing and the girls go shopping.
Somewhere along the way Mia decides that they are all going clubbing, even though Ana isn’t allowed out and especially not in anything as revealing as one wears to a club. Mia and Kate force Ana to purchase skimpy clothes and ridiculously high heels. Ana, being the spineless jellyfish that she is, allows Kate and Mia to dress her in whatever they want, even though she doesn’t particularly care for it. Oh well, who cares? It’s Christian’s money they are spending.
Then comes the obligatory fakey drama for this chapter. Ana looks out the window of whatever overpriced store they are in and sees Elliot. Elliot is supposed to be fishing! But instead he has snuck into town to meet a woman! Not just any woman of course, it’s GIA. Hateful, whorish, underdressed Gia. Of course it is.
Now, Elliot and Gia don’t actually DO anything. They aren’t kissing, or holding hands, or whatever. Elliot walks into a jewelry store ALONE and when he walks out Gia is with him. They say goodbye and go their separate ways. As far as Ana knows it could just be a coincidence. The story isn’t clear where Gia is based, but she remodelled the Grey house in Aspen so she could very well live here.
But Ana is aghast.
She is mortified, and scandalised and all the other similar words. She can’t decide whether she should tell Kate about Elliot’s horrid indiscretion, but in the end she doesn’t. Inside her head she wonders, “What the hell is Elliot Manwhore Grey playing at?”
The girls shop and then repair to the house for cocktails. Kate gets drunk and starts crying. It turns out the real reason Kate was upset had nothing to do with Gia. Quelle surprise! Christian was mad at Kate for taking Ana out for drinks so he called Elliot and chewed him out. Then Elliot called Kate and chewed HER out in turn. They haven’t really spoken since then, so Kate doesn’t know where they stand relationship-wise.
The boys get back from fishing, and Christian and Ana head off the have sex and a bath and more sex while everyone waits around for them to go for dinner and then clubbing. I’m delighted because Ana has started to actually use the word ‘groin’ in reference to her genitals. It’s not great, but it’s a start. I’m so proud of you, Ana. *sniff*
After the sex, Ana confronts Christian about seeing Gia and Elliot together. He tells Ana they are friends. And that Elliot is in love with Kate, even though Kate is gross. That makes Ana mad, and for once it should. Kate is her best friend, and yet Christian is always telling Ana how unattractive Kate is.
Ana gets dressed for the club and the emails Christian, who is in the living room, to come and check out her dress. She needs Christian to approve it before they can go out. Christian is angry of course. He loves the outfit, but not the idea of Ana leaving the house in it. However, he has decided to be the bigger person and allow Ana to wear it even though he disapproves. How big of him.
Presumably they head off to dinner without incident, and we rejoin them at dessert. We end off the chapter with a super awkward and contrived proposal – Elliot asks Kate to marry him as the entire restaurant looks on. The chapter closes not with Kate saying yes or no, but with Ana thinking, Holy shit!
Holy shit, indeed.