Fifty Shades Freed: Chapter Ten
It’s Tuesday, the football’s on, and I have a large bar of dark chocolate to distract me from the cigarette cravings and the fact that my country just called for another fucking election. Let’s do this thing!
Oh, and in the interim betwixt recaps, I released another romance story of my own; you can read about that here if you’re interested. We left off last week with Ana returning home from a forbidden night at the bar with Kate to find Jack Hyde knocked unconscious by security on the floor of her apartment. Ana is distraught:
“”Is he—” I gasp, unable to finish the sentence and gazing wide-eyed and terrified at Ryan. I can’t even look at the prone figure on the floor.
“No, ma’am. Just knocked out cold.”
Relief floods through me. Oh, thank God.
Nah Ryan’s dead, but thanks for asking. This is honestly the biggest laugh I got from the book so far. Hey, maybe this chapter won’t be so bad! Ana asks how Hyde broke in;
“”How did he get in?” I ask, ignoring his tone.
“Through the service elevator. He’s got quite a pair, ma’am.””
Of…balls? I don’t want to be deliberately childish here, but that’s how this reads, right? That Jack busted his way into the house using the enormous power of his concrete testicles?
Ryan suggests they restrain Jack and Ana goes to get the cable ties she knows Christian has, while the rest of the household deal with the aftereffects of the invasion. It’s dull, until Ana suggests they call the police, which the security team are reluctant to do without Christian’s say-so. What the fuck does Christian have in his apartment that no-one wants to cops around him? An armed intruder just broke into his home – damn right Ana should want to call the cops. They security team um and uh about it for a bit until Ana calls Christian, leaves him a message letting him know what went down, and then calls the police. Who immediately find the bodies of the ex-subs Christian has stashed in his office.
Nah, they don’t, because that would be exactly the kind of sick third-act twist it would take to liven up this slowly dying story. Instead, Ana wanders around a bit, is asked a couple of questions, and then goes to the bedroom where she watches the cop from afar:
“He looks thoughtful, despite his scowl. And suddenly I feel homesick—homesick for Christian. Holding my head in my hands, I wish fervently that he were here.”
I’m not saying that EL James MEANT it to be the scowl that reminded her of Christian, but that’s certainly how I’m choosing to read it. Mainly because it’s much funnier that way. “Scowl” is a facial expression I associate more with nightmarishly irritating teenagers than grown-ass men, so it fits Christian perfectly.
Ana goes to sleep, and when she wakes she finds Christian watching her, because, lest we forget:
Of course, Christian is just super fucking raging at her for going out. Not mad at the man who broke into his house with the presumable intent to hurt his wife – mad at his wife for being out of the house when it happened. He tells her he’s “way beyond mad”, “burning with rage” and doesn’t know “how to deal with these….feelings”. Because, and might I reiterate, Ana went out for three cocktails with her best friend without his permission, therefore avoiding a potential fatal attack on her life. This is what he’s mad about. Ana not being dead. Did Christian organise this himself? It makes a lot more sense than being cross because she avoided a potential assault. Ana assures him that Jack is gone:
“No thanks to you,” he mutters”
….which…okay? I mean, no, Ana didn’t beat the crap out of him and hand him over to the cops, but she wasn’t prancing up and down outside the apartment with a sandwhich board with “MY HUSBAND IS OUT OF TOWN!” written in giant bubble letters. The fuck is this?
Ana goes back to sleep, and then joins Christian in the shower once she wakes up. She touches him up a little, and he tells her not to:
“I release him, immediately. He’s saying no? My mind goes into free fall—has this ever happened before? My subconscious shakes her head, her lips pursed. She glares at me over her half-moon glasses, wearing her you’ve-really-fucked-up-this-time look. I feel like I’ve been slapped, hard. Rejected. And a lifetime of insecurity spawns the ugly thought he doesn’t want me anymore. I gasp as the pain sears through me. Christian turns, and I’m relieved to see he’s not completely oblivious to my charms.”
DUUUUUUDE. I mean, I assume that this is the first time Ana’s been rejected for sex and sure, that’s never fun, but…the way she’s talking about it makes it sound as though Christian turned around and headbutted her as soon as she stepped into the shower. It’s just such a bloody silly overreaction to him not being in the mood, which isn’t that big a deal, especially not since he just came back from working out (mentioned earlier in the section) and might be knackered. Ana suggests he’s overreacting:
“”Overreacting?” he snarls. “Some fucking lunatic gets into my apartment to kidnap my wife, and you think I’m overreacting!” The restrained menace in his voice is frightening, and his eyes blaze as he stares at me as if I’m the fucking lunatic.”
Oh my GOD. Ana, once again, is frightened of Christian’s anger. Christian, once again, blames Ana for the actions of someone else. The two of them, once again, display a complete lack of ability to resolve their problems in a remotely healthy way. Ana reminds him that she wasn’t there:
“”And all because you can’t follow a simple, fucking request.” His tone is bitter and it’s my turn to blanch. “I don’t want to discuss this now, in the shower. I am still fucking mad at you, Anastasia.”
DID Christian intend for Ana to actually get murdered? If not, what is another logical reason for him being this mad she chose to go out the night before and avoid a presumable kidnapping? If I was Ana…well, I would have laughed in this asshole’s face as soon as he stalked me to my work, but at this point, I’d be drawing up a fucking escape plan.
Ana has some breakfast and wanders around a bit, then tells Christian she’s going to work. He expresses his unhappiness at this, and refuses her request to let her take her own car. Ana reasons, “Well, at least he’s letting me go to work,” but yeah, tell me again how Christian is a cool and laid-back and non-controlling and not-abusive partner?
Ana goes to work, escorted by one of the security team – notably, the only woman, who Ana internally whines about getting lumped with – and one of her higher-ups stops by to check how she’s going after the incident the night before. Ana is snarky about it, calling it “pointless”, and I remember that any act of kindness from a woman is actually just them being a bitch, somehow. Silly me to forget.
Ana and Christian email a little, and Ana realizes that when Christian arrived back the night before he was wearing a tuxedo, which implied he left before the news of Jack reached him. Basically, that he flew across the country to come yell at his wife for going out for a few cocktails with her best friend. Ana confronts him about it and chews him out over email, which is a little satisfying, even if she does refer to herself as an “adult female” when, you know, the word for that is “woman”.
The detective arrives to question Ana, and then she heads home to Christian.
” I can’t help my nerves. My heart is pounding, my mouth is dry, and my palms are sweaty. I don’t want to fight. But sometimes he’s so difficult, and I need to stand my ground.”
This really has been one of the most deepy ugh-y chapters in this book so far. Christian is just so angry at Ana – instead of offering her comfort after the trauma of the evening, he scares her, blames her, and generally makes her feel like shit for going out with her friend. To the point where Ana might as well be describing a showdown with a fucking comic book villain in this section. This is such an ugly, inexplicable book.
Of course, Ana arrives home and finds Christian standing all-sexy-like in the apartment waiting for her, and mercifully, this chapter is at a close. See you next time!