Fifty Shades Freed: Chapter Twelve
The weather’s beautiful, I have Danger Days on full blast and am in full 2010 mode, and me and the cat are settled in for a good night. Time to ruin it!
We left off last week with Christian being notably terrible and then revealing to Ana that he was born in Detroit, as was Jack Hyde. Christian and his brother were both adopted in Detroit, and then his mother moved to Seattle to get away from “the urban sprawl” which, uh, isn’t achieved by moving to a new city, but whatever. Ana asks him how bad Jack Hyde’s past was, and Christian is all “I’ve seen worse” because he’s so very tortured. He tells her that part of his life is behind him, and:
““That part of your life is not done, Christian—how can you say that? You live every day with your past. You told me yourself— Fifty Shades, remember?” My voice is barely audible.”
I know this is meant to be dramatic and emotional and all, but I can’t help but picture Ana basically mouthing these words and it’s just amusing to me.
““I know it’s why you feel the need to control me. Keep me safe.”
“And yet you choose to defy me,” he murmurs baffled, his hand stilling in
I frown. Holy cow! Do I do that deliberately? My subconscious removes her half-moon glasses and chews the end, pursing her lips and nodding. I ignore her. This is confusing—I’m his wife, not his submissive, not some company he’s acquired. I’m not the crack whore who was his mother . . . Fuck. The thought is sickening. Dr. Flynn’s words come back to me:
“Just keep doing what you’re doing. Christian is head over heels . . . It’s a
delight to see.””
Deep sigh. Yeah, people who were abused in their childhoods can go on to become abusers in their own right, but it’s not a given, and it’s insulting to suggest it is. And again, we’ve got another delightful implication that being a submissive is impossible to reconcile with being an equal partner. Oh, and of course, Ana refers to Christian’s mother as “the crack whore”, which is just spectacularly ugly and horrible. Not to mention the fact that Christian’s therapist apparently told Ana that she could love him into being healthy? What the fuck? This is not how therapy works. As soon as the patient gets into a relationship, the therapist doesn’t dust off their hands and go “welp, my work here is done”, especially when the relationship is so obviously dangerous. Man, so much awfulness in just a few lines. Almost impressive, really.
But oh, there’s more!
““No, listen. Please.” I raise my head to stare into gray eyes that are paralyzed with fear. He’s holding his breath. Oh, Christian . . . My heart constricts.
“I’m not her. I’m much stronger than she was. I have you, and you’re so much stronger
now, and I know you love me. I love you, too,” I whisper.
His brow creases as if my words were not what he expected. “Do you still
love me?” he asks.
“Of course I do. Christian, I will always love you. No matter what you do to
me.” Is this the reassurance he wants?”
OF COURSE IT IS. You’re telling him, a chapter after he sexually assaulted you, that he can do whatever he wants to you and you’ll never leave him. After he tried to exert his control over you in your everyday life and failed, and so punished you with a sex act you never consented to, and left you in tears and blamed it on you, you’re going “hey, it’s fine, love you babe!”. Oh, and way nice on Ana saying she’s so much stronger than Christian’s mother who she knows nothing about, just because Christian’s mother had the temerity to suffer from an addiction.
Christian demands to know why Ana used her safeword, because obviously that’s an affront against him, and this chapter continues to go down the fucking tubes:
“I blanch. What can I tell him? That he frightened me. That I didn’t know if he’d stop. That I begged him—and he didn’t stop. That I didn’t want things to escalate . . . like—like that one time in here. I shudder as I recall him whipping me with his belt. I swallow.
“Because . . . because you were so angry and distant and . . . cold. I didn’t know how far you’d go.””
I can’t believe I have to say this again, after two and a half books, but: if you don’t trust the person who’s domming you to stop when you reach your limits, that person is a shitty dom and also person. I say this every week, but how can people read this, this paragraph where Ana outright says that she was afraid that Christian would hurt her and things would “escalate” similair to the beating he gave her at the end of the first book, that he ignored her wanting to stop, and stick their hands down their pants like “eh, seems legit!”. Ana asks him if he was going to let her come:
““No,” he says eventually.
Holy crap. “That’s . . . harsh.”
His knuckle gently grazes my cheek. “But effective,” he murmurs.”
FUCK YOU. That is all. Christian tells her he’s glad he can trust her to stop him, which OH MY GOD COME ON THIS BOOK IS THE WORST, and frankly we’re lucky that Party Poison just shuffled on to my speakers otherwise I’d be punching a hole in my laptop instead of hip-thrusting my way around the room like a madwoman. He says he got carried away and lost in the moment, which, you know, most people getting “lost in the moment” doesn’t involve them sexually assaulting the person they’re meant to love, but WHATEVER.
Ana concedes that she’ll try harder to let him control her, and Christian tries to press her into quitting her job some more, and they fall asleep together in the playroom. Ana wakes to find Christian having a nightmare, and she wakes him up only for him to pounce on her and starting snogging her, which, ew, napbreath. We get my new favourite description of a sex act as Christian’s tongue “plunders [her] mouth”, which just gives me the image of tiny pirates leaping from his gross napbreath lips into her’s and makes me giggle because something in this chapter fucking has to. Remember when these recaps were fun? Me neither.
He fucks her for a few lines, comes, and she doesn’t orgasm. After a bit he goes down on her, eases “one long finger” inside of her –
– and then they fuck again and she comes and Christian wants to take them both back to the bedroom. Ana falls back asleep and wakes to Christian playing the fucking piano, because again, this is Twilight, and because Christian doesn’t want her to get a second of fucking rest apparently. It’s a saaaaaad song to reflect Christian’s saaaaad soul. Ana goes to comfort him;
” “A deranged asshole gets into my apartment to kidnap my wife. She won’t do as she’s told. She drives me crazy. She safe words on me.” He closes his eyes briefly, and when he opens them again, they are stark and raw. “Yeah, I’m pretty shaken up.””
Are you fucking serious right now? Earlier in the chapter, Christian thanked Ana for safewording because it kept him from going too far, and now he’s sitting here and making out like the fact that he pushed his partner’s limits too far and she called him on it is comparable to someone breaking into their apartment and tried to kidnap her? I hope Christian gets hit by a train. Try playing the piano after that, you momentous wanking piece of jackoffery. Ana wonders if she’s “strong” enough to do what he wants, and this chapter is just the biggest piece of antifeminist shit that I can’t even
Ahem, anyway. They go to sleep, and when they wake Christian tells her they’re going to Aspen on the trip that Ana bid on in the last book. Well, he says he’s taking he to Aspen after she’s made him breakfast, because this chapter really wants me to pop a vein before it’s out.
They go to the plane, and Christian surprises Ana with some friends. Well, Kate, Mia, Ethan, and Elliot, so one friend, one friend’s brother, and then Christian’s family, but nearly!
““Oh, Christian, thank you.” I throw my arms around his neck and kiss him hard in front of everyone. He puts his hands on my hips, hooking his thumbs through the belt loops of my jeans, and deepens the kiss.
“Keep this up and I’ll drag you into the bedroom,” he murmurs.”
EVERYONE IS VERY UNCOMFORTABLE RIGHT NOW. You ever been around that teenage couple who insist on just snogging to prove that they’re sooo into each other? Imagine that, except they’re grown-ass adults and they’re full-on tongue-kissing in front of their friends and family while the friends and family can do nothing but watch because it’s a plane and they can’t very well just get off. Christian picks Ana up and carries her out of the room while waggling his eyebrows at everyone there so they know what’s going to happen. In reality, Christian holds back and they just talk about how great this surprise was, but everyone thinks they’re fucking. Everyone. Fuck. Ew. Gross.
Christian and Ana go back to see everyone else and talk about what they’re going to get up to in Aspen, and Kate checks in with Ana to see that she’s okay after the Hyde incident. Christian reveals some details about Hyde’s past, including the death of his parents and his time in juvie, and Kate presses for more:
“I don’t want to encourage Kate’s questions. I know they’re irritating Christian, and I’m sure she’s on his shit list since Cocktailgate.”
After Kate took her friend out for a drink without clearing it with her fucking husband first? Yeah, that bitch, how dare she ask questions. Also, she’s dating a Grey too – what’s to say Hyde wouldn’t target her? Maybe she’s just trying to find out enough information to protect herself with?
They talk some more about who could hold the grudge against Christian (clue: everyone who’s ever read these books), and then the air stewardess comes out to offer everyone coffee, and we leave the chapter on that wild cliffhanger!