The jokes write themselves as we open chapter 7.
“You think?” Christian asks, surprised.
Ana doesn’t think. I’m pretty sure there’s a rusty hamster wheel inside her head with a sad little hamster skeleton. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if Christian thinks either.
So yeah. Christian is actually referring to the revealing revelation that it is Jack Man: the Half-Assed Avenger who in fact set the fire at Grey enterprises: the one that wrecked their honeymoon. So Christian asks if Ana is sure. She *is* sure; she knows what her boss looks like. Christian is angry – ANGRY – that Ana can both recognise and describe him. He snarkily comments that she has spent altogether too much time looking at her former boss.
Not the time to be jealous and petty Christian – we’re trying to solve a mystery here. But au contraire! It is always the right time to be jealous and petty in Crazy Boyfriendia. Or I guess I should say Crazy Husbandia now, since they are totes married. Duuude.
Ana is grateful that Barney, the head Keystone Cop, interrupts Christian’s little snit. They turn their attention back to the security cam footage. Christian and Ana try to puzzle out why anyone, especially Jack, would want to harm them. I’m not kidding. They can’t think of one single event that might have happened which would lead Jack to harbour any ill-will toward the two of them. Not one.
Christian gives up with this futile thinking business with the declaration that, “You just can’t fathom why some people behave the way they do.”
Well, you can’t, but everyone else in the world can.
Christian sends the Keystone Cops off to find Jack and follow him around. Our least fave couple makes out for a bit and then decide that they are hungry. Hungry for…food. Sigh. OK.
Ana heads to the kitchen and dismisses the maid, who is somewhat put off by Ana horning in on her racket. Ana tells us quite meaningfully that she is going to make Christian a sub. Haw Haw! Geddit? A sub…
In case you didn’t, in fact, geddit, Ana hammers home THE MESSAGE thusly: “I frown, struck by what I’ve just said. Does Mrs. Jones understand the inference?”
I don’t know Ana. That was pretty fucking subtle. I imagine Mrs. Jones had to physically restrain herself from facepalming. It only gets better, because as soon as Ana is done insisting that she makes the sandwiches around these parts, she realises she doesn’t know what Christian likes. Like at all. Mrs. Jones tells her Christian will eat anything as long as it is on French bread.
So Ana decides on the first two ingredients she can find: ham and avocado. Do those even go together? I’m not convinced. Christian saunters out of the study and is all like, mmmmm subs, my favourite. Yeah. We know.
Dead horse. Status: flogged.
There’s a little sexy grab-ass, some wine and then Christian brings out Gia’s plans for the new house. Ana predictably hates them because Gia is too pretty and it makes her mad. Ana brings up a touchy subject, or rather a hitty, smacky subject. A floggy, handcuffy subject. The 64 thousand dollar question here is…will they be putting a Red Room of Pain into the new house? Will they?! Will they?!
Christian insists that this will be a family home! So none of that filthy filthy sex we were all promised. The house will contain nothing but the Beige Room of Boredom! And possibly the Eggplant Room of Ennui. Ana is disappointed. As usual, she looooves the Red Room of Pain except when she hates it.
They finish with the plans. Christian wants to head straight to bed but Ana wants to watch TV. Christian is dismissive. TV is for sheeple. Ana is all like, Gawd! I didn’t want to watch TV! I wanted to make out in the TV room.
Christian is confused, because he has never made out, but he’s suddenly up for whatever. He’s a little taken aback and asks Ana if she has ever made out before. He is clearly surprised (and mad! Soooo mad) when she says yes.
OK. When 50 Shades started…waaayyyy back in book one, Ana insisted that she has never had a boyfriend. She has never kissed a boy, and in fact has never so much as held hands with anyone ever. Ever. But now, suddenly she has a parade of teenage crushes. Ana even asks him why he would assume that she had never made out with anyone. Because you fucking said so! That’s why! But both of them seem to have conveniently forgotten this fact. Christian says it is because Ana just, er, seemed so, um, inexperienced. Yeah. That’s why.
Christian is furious and literally threatens to beat whoever it is to a pulp for you know, feeling up his wife a decade before he met her. Classy.
Then the chapter takes the express bus to Rapey Town. Christian holds Ana down and insists she describe exactly what she has done and with whom. Christian is angry and turned on, and the whole scene is supposed to be super hot, but it is really uncomfortable to read. Christian basically interrogates Ana while holding her down and feeling her up. It comes off…kinda…gross.
They make out some more, and Christian asks Ana if she knows how hot she is. Sigh. I think we have established that she does not in fact know how hawt she is. NO! A THOUSAND TIMES NO! Why does he keep asking?!
The scintillating dialogue just keeps scint-ing along. Christian declares that he is like a starving man at a buffet. So…? He’s going to stuff himself until he pukes and then die of Refeeding Syndrome? Yeah. That’s a real thing. You’re welcome.
Then Christian strips off Ana’s shirt. Ana informs us that she is naked under her shirt. Oh Ana, we’re all naked under our clothes. Totally naked. Turns out Christian is also naked under his clothes. Whoda thunk it? I can’t tell you how much I laughed at this exchange. It wasn’t even said jokingly. They were serious. We yadda yadda past the sex and then arrive back in time to watch the end of the X-Files with our crappy couple.
I just paged ahead and realised there’s still 20 pages to cover in this chapter. God help me.
Ana makes fun of Christian for being a fan of the X-Files. She tells him it is before her time. Christian admits that this was back when he was a little kid, and muses about how young Ana is. OK. Back up the Dumbhole Express.
1. They are like 6 years apart in age.
2. The story is set in 2012 and he is 28.
3. The X-Files ran until 2002
That makes Christian 18, and Ana 12. So, no. It isn’t before her time, and no, he wasn’t a little kid. Sure, it started almost a decade earlier, but it’s not like some obscure show that ran for a season and got cancelled. Also reruns. This whole conversation that they have is patent nonsense.
They make some boring post-sexy time conversation. Christian bitches about his crappy security team and tells us he thinks it was Jack following them in the car chase, even though his minions think it was a woman in the other car. Ana whines about having to work tomorrow and go back to ‘reality’. Yes, the reality of having a job because your husband owns the company. Christian snaps at Ana for questioning his judgement and then they retire to the bedroom for more sex (which we skip over).
We fade out and then it’s Monday. Ana heads to work in a gaggle of security types. Ana gets updated on all the boring office crap and goes to a meeting. Ana notes that her co-workers are treating her with kid gloves, because now they are all aware that her hubby owns the company. It makes Ana sad and uncomfortable.
Just before the meeting Christian emails to freak out because Ana hasn’t changed her work email to his last name. This becomes a whole thing. He tells her his emails all “bounced’ because he was emailing her new address which doesn’t exist yet. Let’s stop right here. Ana has been at work for like 2 hours. Christian is furious that her email address isn’t updated to reflect her married name, and has sent her multiple MULTIPLE emails. He is furious.
Ana tells him she would rather keep her last name at work and they will discuss it after work today. Sounds reasonable right?
Christian bursts into her office and harangues her about changing her name. He even threatens to force her to have sex in her office with everyone listening if she doesn’t comply. She begs him not to do that and eventually she gives in just to get rid of him. As soon as she agrees, he is Mr. Smiley Calmerton again and he leaves as if nothing out of the ordinary just happened.
Before leaving he drops a metaphorical bomb on Ana. Guess what? She really does have the job because he bought the company. Her bosses didn’t want to hire a new person while the company was up for sale so they just hired whoever was closest – Ana. Ana is horrified. But it’s OK, Christian reassures her, because Christian is giving Ana the company for a wedding present. She doesn’t need to have any skills or qualifications – he will let her run it into the ground.
Ana is horrified even more, if that is possible. She tells him he will be a laughingstock, buying a company for the little woman. He doesn’t care. Ana is pissed, sooo pissed. She has asked him repeatedly to let her succeed or fail on her own and he flat out refuses to do that.
After work, Ana is still furious and Christian has no idea why. None. He can’t figure out what thing he might have done recently that she might be angry about. Ana responds by throwing an epic hissy fit, and refusing to eat (which he hates). She tells him to sell the company, but he refuses. Christian interrupts to inform her that it is now time to meet Gia to discuss plans for the house. Ana is incensed: she hates Gia, and is sure Gia is after her man. She goes to put on high heels and slather on some makeup so that she can outshine Gia.
She heads out to the foyer and she and Christian dance – to a requiem. Ana makes a huge deal about this, which makes me think it is supposed to be deep and meaningful. Or something. Then they head off to see Gia, but we are spared that at least because the chapter is finally FINALLY over.