Chapter 21 of 50 Shades Freed Gives You the Cold Shoulder

Last chapter:

Ana announces she’s pregnant; Christian goes batshit crazy and leaves; he comes home drunk and gets a text showing he’s spent the night with Elena.

This chapter:

Ana ‘gapes’ at the text like the slack jawed yokel that we all know she is. She gets her bearings and has a total fucking (but also totally silent) meltdown. She agonizes for 2 whole pages about Christian and how he has betrayed her by talking to Elena. There’s so much wailing and gnashing of teeth, that I’m not sure how Christian keeps sleeping right on through it. He must be really drunk.

Using her usual Vulcan logic Ana tells us in one sentence that it is always (always she says) one step forward and two steps back with Christian. In the very next sentence she tells us that they “move forward, inch by inch”. Those two things are opposites. The entire point of the one step forward cliché is that you are ultimately going backward.

These words, you keep using them…

Inigo

Then Ana has a brief moment of clarity. She’s a mother now (mother of a half dozen largely undifferentiated cells but let’s not nitpick) and she can’t let Christian keep ignoring her clearly set boundaries, like “stop associating with a woman who tried to kill me.” Wait. Did Elena try to kill Ana? So many people have tried to kill them I’ve lost track.

Let me check. Here’s something to keep you busy while I wait:

Ok. Elena did not in fact try to kill anyone. Hooray! Way back at the end of book 2, Ana and Elena and later Christian had a giant shrieking fight at Christian’s birthday party, after which Elena was forcibly ejected from the Grey mansion. But still, you’d think that would be enough to keep Christian away from her.

But you’d be wrong.

Ana has been betrayed (she tells us that like a million times) and she is going to make Christian pay. Even though Dr. Flynn said she should let him get away with being a whiney douche. Ana ‘hatches a plan.’

She forwards Elena’s text to her own phone, then proceeds to go through all Christian’s texts, and then, for good measure, all his emails. Ana’s Inner Goddess approves all these actions, and is today garishly dressed in jade-green silk. What that has to do with anything is beyond me.

dafuq

Ana finds nothing interesting from Elena, and she almost seems disappointed. She comes across an email form the IT guy regarding Jack Hyde and the files on his computer. Ana doesn’t know what to make of it so she shrugs and gets back to her plan. Her plan of sending Christian a nasty text and then locking herself in the playroom. That’s the whole plan. She’s going to insult him and then give him the cold shoulder. That’s…that’s genius.

sarcastic

Ana gets a spare duvet out of a closet and locks herself into the playroom to sleep. She thinks how odd it is that she finds the room comforting considering all the bad times they’ve had in there. Yeah. That *is* odd. But whatever. She sends Christian a text in crazy all caps asking if he would like Elena to be present when they discuss the text so he doesn’t have to go running to her afterwards. She turns off her phone and falls asleep to an elabourate fantasy that, instead of freaking out Christian falls on his knees with joy upon finding out that Ana is pregnant.

She plans to give Christian the “it’s her or me” talk in the morning.

The next morning Ana sneaks out of the playroom to find Christian frantic to find her. He has all his servants gathered around him and is shouting orders at them. Ana strolls through, ignoring Christian, and tells Sawyer that she will be ready to leave for work in twenty minutes. Ana makes an elabourate show of ignoring Christian as he follows her around demanding answers. Eventually she tells him that she isn’t interested in being married to someone who goes running back to his ex every time they have a fight. Which makes a surprising amount of sense.

But of course, as Ana makes clear to us, she doesn’t mean it, she’s just using the threat as a tool to manipulate Christian. It’s pretty gross. Christian sees it for what it is and turns on the extra strong sexy-vibes to try and break her resolve. Ana doesn’t break and it infuriates Christian.

Crazy
Ana rebuffs his advances. I’m going to quote it directly because its just that nutty all on it’s own:

“Don’t even think about it, Grey,” I whisper menacingly.

“You’re my wife,” he says softly, threateningly.

“I’m the pregnant woman you abandoned yesterday, and if you touch me I will scream the place down.”

His eyebrows raise in disbelief. “You’d scream?”

“Bloody murder.” I narrow my eyes.

“No one would hear you,” he murmurs, his gaze intense…

So yeah, he just totally implied that.

 

Creepyguy

They spend the next three pages insulting each other and generally not actually talking about the problem. Ana heads off to work crying and talking to the almost-not-even-there baby. Kate calls and Ana tearfully insists that there’s nothing wrong but that they can talk later.

After work, Ana goes home but Christian isn’t there. Two can play the Cold Shoulder Game. Apparently. At 9 pm Ana calls to see if Christian is with Elena. She says that. Right to his face. He hangs up on her. Ana briefly considers getting an abortion, but dismisses the idea within one sentence.

She sleeps in another room again, and when she wakes Christian has left the sexy-times silk tie on her floor, but has already left for work and still isn’t talking to her. That is some grade A, extra fancy creepiness right there.

watching

Christian sends Ana a terse email at work announcing that he is flying to Portland. And is furious and locks herself in the bathroom crying. Her assistant, Hannah, gingerly tries to get her out as Ana has a godamn business to run. She’s probably wondering just how long the company is going to last under Ana’s skilled leadership, and if she ought to be putting out resumes. Hannah finally extricates Ana from the bathroom because she has a freaking meeting to attend.

Ana claims that she manages to keep it together until after lunch, which, I doubt. The tension of the chapter is just ratcheting down a little after all the screamy emotional feels-a-thons when Ana’s phone rings. Ana doesn’t want to talk, but it’s Mia so she feels obliged. And it’s not Mia! It’s not Mia at all!

It’s Jack Hyde!

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