50 Shades Darker – Chapter 1

OK, so the last 50 Shades post was a bit mean. The prologue is really short but, rather than tacking it onto the beginning of Chapter One, I forced you to wait instead. What can I say? Since we’re going to be experiencing a lot of pain, anger and disappointment together in the coming weeks, I thought I’d give you taster.

Enough punishment, let’s get started.

Read the Prologue, or read the whole lot on ‘The Fifty Shades Saga‘ page.

50 Shades Darker
Chapter One 

I have survived Day Three Post-Christian.

Mission log: heartbreak is exactly on schedule. Commencing recovery process in t-minus two weeks and counting.

Ana has started her new job at a publishing company because, inexplicably, a girl incapable of even using the internet manages to land her dream job straight out of university.

Mr. Jack Hyde … he smiles down at me, his blue eyes twinkling…

Ooh, she fancies her boss! At least he doesn’t have grey eyes – that would be confusing.

Somehow I manage to curl my lips upward in a semblance of a smile.

I imagine your empty grimace looks delightful.

She goes home.

The apartment is empty.

You mean nobody wants to come to your pity party? Odd.

I turn on the flat-screen television so there’s noise to fill the vacuum…

Impossible. Since a vacuum contains no molecules to transmit sound waves, you cannot try and fill a vacuum with noise. I mean … aw, poor Ana.

I am numb. I feel nothing but the pain.

Pick one because it can’t be both.

There’s a buzz at the door and, after wondering who it is rather than just GOING TO FIND OUT, she walks ‘listlessly’ down the stairs. I imagine she also weakly turns the key in the lock, sighs loudly, and then limply strokes the handle before managing to open the door.

Inside are two dozen long-stemmed, white roses and a card. Congratulations on your first day of work … Christian.

She’ll probably take this really well.

I stare at the typed card, the hollow in my chest expanding… And so a pattern develops: wake, work, cry, sleep. Well, try to sleep.

Yup, thought so.

I cannot bear to hear any music. I am careful to avoid it at all costs.

How do you avoid ALL OF MUSIC?!

Even the jingles in commercials make me shudder.

Because Christian plays the piano? Are you also going to avoid wearing clothes because he bought you a bra once, or taking a shit because he has a toilet in his apartment? Jesus wept.

She blithers on for a bit longer about how she isn’t eating or talking to anyone. Even her lovely new job, that (I repeat) she was fucking lucky to get, is starting to wind her up. Ungrateful harpy.

Holy shit. An e-mail from Christian. Oh no … not at work.

Don’t open it then. If you know you’re going to lose it, wait to open it at home.

She opens it.

I would be more than happy to take you [to your friend’s gallery show] – should you wish.

Lol. Who’d have thought he’d be the clingy one?

Shit! I am such an idiot! I still have [my phone] set to forward calls to the BlackBerry. Holy hell, Christian’s been getting my calls.

Lol, lol and lol some more. That’s what you get for being technologically incompetent.

I cannot be with someone who takes pleasure in inflicting pain on me, someone who can’t love me.

But you were, for the whole of the last book.

…deep down, the masochist in me wants to see Christian.

Hold on, how can you POSSIBLY have a masochist inside you? You were never abused, and there’s literally NO OTHER REASON that someone might enjoy a bit of pain with their pleasure.

Checking my phone, I find that it is still set to forward calls to the BlackBerry.

Yeh, we know. You said already. Is there an editor in the building?

She emails him back (still at work, Ana) and says she would like a lift. She signs off with her new job title. Bit smug. Then – you know all that boring shit you have to do when you arrange to go somewhere? Calling your friend to find out what time it starts, telling the driver, discussing the best time to pick you up … the sort of boring shit that usually gets skipped over in novels? Yeh, EL James doesn’t skip over it. So I will.

Oh my. I’m going to see Christian … Has he missed me?

It seems like he hasn’t even noticed you’ve left him.

The next few thousand sentences are self-pitying questions. Skimmed it. At last it’s the day of the gallery show.

…Kate’s plum dress and the black high-heeled boots I’ve stolen from her closet.

BUY YOUR OWN FUCKING CLOTHES.

I turn and climb into the back, and there he sits – Christian Grey…

You can’t say you’re giving someone a lift if you have a chauffeur.

“When did you last eat?” he snaps.

Oh for God’s sake, just get out of the car.

“If I told you I was fine, I’d be lying.”
“Me, too,” he murmurs.

Spot the unnecessary comma!

He tugs my hand, and before I know it I’m on his lap.

Holy shit, how did he do that?

They do a bit of snuggling in the back of the car, then Christian decides to take the helicopter instead, because why not.

The familiar pull is there – I’m drawn, Icarus to his sun.

Just because it’s a new book, does NOT mean you can recycle metaphors.

We are treated to every detail of how they get into the elevator up to the helipad (did you know you have to press a button and wait for the doors to close?). They both ‘feel’ the erotic tension in the elevator, because it’s such a sexy sexy place.

He’s just so competent. It’s very alluring.

Oh yeh, baby, I love it when you know things.

They get in the helicopter and he starts pointing out landmarks like the Space Needle, which Ana says she’s never been to. Christian offers to take her.

“Christian, we broke up.”
“I know. I can still take you there and feed you.” He glares at me.

Not creepy AT ALL.

…this man who has put me through hell over the last few days.

And what have you put him through? The minute he opened up to you, you called him a ‘fucked-up son of a bitch’ and walked out. God, I hate you.

Finally they arrive. Christian tells Ana he wants her back, but says they’ll talk about it after. They go in, some bitch eyes up Christian, and José notices that Ana’s lost weight. Blah blah, yawn, blah.

This beautiful man wants me back, and deep down inside me sweet joy unfurls like a morning glory in the early dawn.

I know she means the flower, but that’s not what I understood by ‘morning glory’.

José’s photographs are everywhere.

Because it’s his show, and you have completely failed to notice his bloody work since you walked through the door.

Ana and Christian chat about how he never took any of his subs on dates and Ana ‘realises’ that he does care for her, in the only way he knows how. This isn’t a revelation for anyone who was even briefly awake during ’50 Shades of Grey’.

“It’s very confusing being with you. You don’t want me to defy you, but then you like my ‘smart mouth.’”

I hate to say it, but she makes a good point. She’ll get a smack if she’s not careful.

“You’ve spoken to José – the man who, the last time I met him, was trying to push his tongue into your reluctant mouth…”
“He’s never hit me,” I spit at him.
“That’s a low blow, Anastasia.”

No, you gave her a low blow! Am I right?

Christian insists they leave. Ana, who has left him and thus is not subject to his will any longer, naturally refuses and says she will find her own way home. No, she doesn’t. She leaves too.

He … suddenly sweeps me into a side alley … He grabs my face between his hands, forcing me to look up into his ardent, determined eyes.

Elevators, alleys … Christian really knows where to woo a lady.

Briefly our teeth clash, then his tongue is in my mouth.

Her reluctant mouth?

Desire explodes like the Fourth of July throughout my body, and I’m kissing him back.

Nope.

“You. Are. Mine,” he snarls. … “Come, we need to talk, and you need to eat.”

Eat YOUR PENIS.


Read Chapter Two.

Why not let me know what you think? You can buy the book here, or the entire trilogy, if you’re a glutton for punishment. Ironically.

About abusive relationships
Domestic violence helpline 0808 2000 247
Help for abused men 0808 801 0327

About eating disorders
Eating disorder helpline 0845 634 1414

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