Wednesday is mercifully short. For the first time, we aren’t forced to follow Christian through his exercise routine, or his blandly ambiguous business meetings. And thank God for that. It’s boring and oddly nonspecific. In the Fifty Shades books Christian was making a wind-up cell phone for the those poor third world countries over there, which then morphed into a solar powered cell phone presumably because somebody clued Christian in to how ridiculous that was. Now he’s making a solar powered tablet.
So whatever. The point is that everyone in all those poor countries “over there” will soon be able to share cat pictures and memes thanks to Christian!
This chapter covers the contract “negotiation”, if you can even call it that. We rejoin Christian just before 7 pm as he waits for Ana to arrive at the hotel. The one he’s staying at so he can be closer to Ana. He orders a glass of wine which I trust is super expensive but since I don’t care for wine I really have no idea.
Ana finally appears at the door of the hotel bar. Christian is stunned into silence because she’s all tarted up for the evening and apparently she cleans up well. Christian makes a mental note to buy her some diamond earrings so that she’ll look properly put together next time. He also makes a mental note that she is wearing just the right amount of makeup – not too much.
I guess she remembered not to set her makeup gun to “whore.”
Christian thinks back to the first chapter and remembers how ordinary Ana looked. Except that’s not what happened. I flipped back to check. Christian calls her attractive, delicate, intriguing and even EXTRAordinary. That word actually gets used. So no, he didn’t think she was ordinary. At all.
They stay in the bar and have wine, olives, and mixed nuts. Christian makes a big show out of licking and sucking on them, while Ana tries to talk terms. Ana is upset that Christian led her to believe that the contract was legally binding. Christian is astonished that she didn’t know better, but is glad that she figured it out for herself.
He tries to explain that the contract is not about Rules and terms, but rather about trust and honesty. And man, oh man, Christian is all about trust and honesty! And respecting limits!
Ana tells him she would prefer to remain in public for the negotiations. Well, too bad! Christian has a private dining room booked so that’s where it’s happening. Christian spends the evening using all his manly wiles to derail the discussion and wheedle Ana back into bed. That’s how much he values honesty and limits and trust.
It’s weird, because he’s the one that made it all about the contract. The one who encouraged Ana to think it over, research the lifestyle, and to discuss her objections.
But anyway, Ana makes a petty jab about him shopping at Submissives ‘R’ Us, and he makes a jab about her refusal to eat. Then they are led off to the private dining room. As they go, Christian notices that every man is ogling Ana, and he doesn’t like it, no siree! But for some reason I can’t fathom, he doesn’t order them all killed, and they make it to the dining room without incident.
Alone, Christian imagines Ana in various states of undress before pulling himself together and pulling out Ana’s email. Finally! The contract.
Christian agrees to redraft the bit about the contract being for Ana’s benefit. Christian also agrees that they can just take each other’s word that they are healthy and free from STDs. He swears he’s clean. Honest! And so does she.
Christian addresses several of Ana’s points by reminding her that she can leave at any time. But, and this is a big, threatening but, if she leaves they are done forever. It’s my way or the highway. He thinks to himself.
No. Second. Chances. Ever.
Considering how he’s into honesty and trust, you’d think he’d say that out loud. Nah! She’ll figure it out.
The waiter shows up with oysters, and of course they make a big sexy show of eating them. They make much ado about ‘swallowing’ and ‘tasting of the sea.’ It’s just as gross and contrived as you would imagine. They get all worked up, and then Christian turns back to the contract, because that’s the kind of guy he is. He wants Ana nice and muddled so she just agrees to whatever.
They turn to the subject of obedience and discipline. Ana isn’t interested in being hurt. It’s not her deal. Christian reassures her that it’s just role play and that honestly truly really it is super enjoyable if she would just go along and do it. Ana grudgingly agrees that she could try it.
Christian is relieved. He reassures her again that she can quit anytime if she doesn’t like it, and pressures her to accept the 3 month trial. She can cancel any time! It’s a forty dollar value!
They start on the main course and start discussing the Rules. Ana won’t agree to either eat, or sleep. She won’t agree not to touch him, but he says no and quickly changes the subject to masturbation. He pours on the
vampire billionaire charm to distract her.
When that doesn’t work, Christian scolds her over not eating. He’s paid for all this expensive food and she only ate 3 oysters, 4 bites of cod, and one asparagus stalk. HE’S BEEN COUNTING. Ana is shocked. And now that she’s feeling off balance, he offers to peel her out of her dress.
His tactic fails. Instead of being super turned on Ana is upset.
“Christian. You use sex as a weapon. It really isn’t fair.”
Shit! She’s onto you! Abort! Abort! But our Christian doesn’t react in any way that’s sensible, oh God no! He’s kinda turned on by this, so he doubles down on the crazy.
“You’re right, I do.”
He then spends the next page or so trying to pressure Ana into having sex right here in the dining room. Ana refuses, but on a whim decides to fellate an asparagus stalk. Huh. I thought the waiter had cleared their plates already. Christian is sure Ana is about to give in when the waiter shows up. Well, that guy’s on the ‘to kill’ list.
Ana tells him she needs to leave. Christian is frustrated and angry. He tells Ana:
“I don’t want you to go.”
“I could make you stay.”
When Ana refuses, he mentions that she would probably make a crappy sub anyway. Still he’d like her to stay and become one. He doesn’t know any other way to love! This is who he is! Can’t you see how broken and vulnerable he is, Ana?! Why are you such a cold bitch!?
He tries to make out with her again, and when she refuses, he calls her ‘impossible’, but agrees to walk her out. He gives her his jacket even though she is only going to be outside long enough for the valet to get her car. He has a minor fit about Ana’s car, which is a bit of a beater, and infuriates Ana further by offering to buy her a new one.
Ana storms off, and Christian doesn’t know what he’s done wrong. He waits until he thinks she is home and the emails her. Then texts. Then emails some more. You know, like sane non-stalkers do…