Updated on August 5, 2015
50 Shades Darker – Chapter 12
Ana went to work and Christian was really nice and understanding and didn’t stalk her at all. Aha. Aha ha ha. Aha ha ha ha ha ha! No really, it was awful.
50 Shades Darker
“Did you talk to her today?” I ask Christian as we wait for Mrs. Robinson’s arrival.
“I said that you didn’t want to see her … She brushed it off in a way that only Elena can.”
You could just NOT let her into your apartment. That’d do it.
She arrives, looking surprisingly like Cruella de Vil, if you find obvious clichés surprising.
“Girlfriend,” he says by way of explanation and tilts his head to one side and gives her a cool smile.
Possibly the worst sentence I’ve ever read.
Do I stay? Do I go? Oh, this is so difficult.
It’s not. You don’t want to be there. Go.
She glances nervously down at her hands and starts manically twisting the large silver ring around and around on her middle finger.
I can’t imagine how she’s doing this manically, unless she’s also twitching and rolling her eyes back in her head.
“I’m being blackmailed.”
Not what I expected out of her mouth. Christian stiffens.
Deliberate reference to their sexual past? Or happy accident?
It turns out someone is blackmailing Mrs Robinson to the tune of $5000. Christian suggests it might be somebody ‘in the community’ and mentions Linc and Isaac. We haven’t heard of them before – I know because the text is suddenly filled with question marks so Ana must be confused.
When I am out of the room, I hear her say, “She seems lovely. Strong. Someone to stand up to you.”
HA! I can’t think of anybody LESS equipped to stand up to him!
“I never thought you’d end up falling in love, Christian. It’s very gratifying to see.”
Blah, blah, Ana’s fantastic. We GET IT. Please move on.
I listen to them bickering, trying to figure this out.
Well, STOP. You’ve been eavesdropping for FOUR PAGES.
She leaves and Christian finds Ana in their bedroom. She tells him she loathes Mr Robinson and wants to know all about their relationship.
“Why the fuck do you want to know about her? We had a very long-standing affair, she beat me the shit out of me often, and I fucked her in all sorts of ways you can’t even imagine, end of story.”
Oh goody, I can’t wait to see what response this strong woman will come up with.
I blanch. Shit. I look down at my hands, knotted in my lap.
Yeh, that’s one in the eye for abusive men everywhere!
“You don’t love her,” I murmur.
“A long time ago, I thought I loved her.”
This lengthy conversation is just more pointless repetition, pretending to be character development. No new information is imparted although, on a positive note, it has made me think more deeply about the emptiness and futility of life.
“So you desired her? When you were younger.”
He had lots and lots of sex with her! Of course he did!
“Her current submissive. He’s in his mid-twenties.”
Thanks for the exposition.
He decides the conversation is over. Then he tells her her new car has arrived, but she’s not allowed to drive it. She must also inform him if she plans to leave her office at any point. But let’s not forget that she’s a strong woman who can stand up to him!
“I wasn’t aware we were fighting. I thought we were communicating,” I mumble petulantly.
Really? I thought you were receiving orders.
“I have to work,” he says … and he leaves the room.
I decide to wear one of the nightdresses from Neiman Marcus. Christian’s always moaning about my T-shirts.
Stick it to the man! Wear what he tells you to!
I … decide to hunt out a book in the library. I settle on Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
THE LITERARY PARALLELS. HAVE YOU NOTICED THEM?
She wakes at 2am and finds him moodily playing the piano, as usual. He pulls her into his lap.
“Why do we fight?” he whispers.
Because you’re a dick and she thinks putting up token resistance is the same thing as having a spine.
“Because we’re getting to know each other.”
Oh, sure, that too.
Suddenly he rises, startling me, and he lifts me onto the piano.
“Lie back,” he orders.
He kisses me … there … Oh, boy.
Hmm, must be her ankle. The raciest part of the female body.
“No,” I whimper.
“This is my revenge, Ana,” he growls softly.
I can’t be the only one who thinks deliberately withholding orgasm and calling it ‘revenge’ is not OK.
“Argue with me, and I’m going to take it out on your body somehow.”
Really, this is fucking sinister.
I realize he’s naked. When did he take off his clothes?
He’s so hot, they probably just melted off him at the first sign of arousal.
They fuck and go to sleep. Hurrah.
I am rudely awakened from my disturbing dream of overly blonde and dark-haired women.
I personally can’t think of anything more terrifying than a woman whose hair is just a bit too blonde.
“Do you have any happy memories of your childhood?”
“I recall the crack whore baking.”
In case we’d forgotten his mother is a crack whore. I think we should rename all the characters this way: Christian can be Handsome Male Protagonist from a Troubled Background, and Ana can be His Whiny Thrall.
“Don’t you have to get up?”
“Not this morning. Only one place I want to be up right now, Miss Steele.”
Oh, dear God.
“Can I ask you something?”
His amused expression slips. “Of course.”
“And you won’t be angry.”
“But I now have a supplementary question.”
Oh, just ASK the bloody question!
“You only saw your subs on the weekends, so no sex during the week?”
“Why do you think I work out every weekday?”
I … I don’t get it.
“Now eat your breakfast.”
Wait, what? Why do you work out? I never thought something in this book would go over my head.
She is given her sandwiches, again, and driven to work, again, and informed that Sawyer will be watching her all day. Ethan – Bloody Kate’s brother – will be arriving today, but Ana isn’t allowed to go the apartment on her own. She arrives at work.
“There’s something going on at senior management level,” [says Jack].
I’m pretty sure Christian is going to get him fired, and I’m expected to be pleased about that.
Oh, it’s hard being in the know. What will he do when he finds out?
Oh crap, something else I didn’t pay attention to.
They email each other again. I mean LOADS of ridiculous emails, in which they recap tales of their sexual escapades and basically congratulate themselves on being such a wonderful couple. At lunchtime she calls him to let him know she’s leaving the office to get Jack’s lunch.
“It might be handy if you gave me Sawyer’s number, so I don’t have to bother you.”
Good of you to make his stalking more efficient.
“It’s no bother, baby.”
Aww, how considerate. That’s true love.
She gets his lunch, has an awkward conversation with Sawyer, and goes back to the office where Jack persistently asks her to go out for a drink with him.
Fuck. He’s not going to back off. Oh … What to do?
Run to your rich boyfriend. You’re his property so it’s his problem.
My BlackBerry rings.
“Hi, Steele!” Ethan’s drawl catches me momentarily off guard.
“Do you want to come here and collect the keys [to the apartment]?”
All sounds fine. Wonder what will go wrong.
She emails Christian to inform him of the plan. He moans at her for using the (relatively more public) email, rather than her BlackBerry.
“Don’t be so crusty and cross.”
“I’ll give you crusty and cross. And look forward to it.”
Ooh, baby, I love it when you’re crusty.
Ethan! I hurry out to the foyer. As soon as he sees me, his mouth drops open.
“Wow, Ana. You look … wow – different. You look hot!”
For fuck’s sake. Eventually SOMEBODY has to not fancy her.
Christian comes to get her at the end of the day and they head to her apartment to collect Ethan, whose arrival really didn’t need an entire chapter built around it.
Maybe this is what it will be like, good days and bad days, and if the good days are like this, I won’t have much to complain about.
Except maybe the bad days, which are unutterably appalling.
As we pull up to my apartment building, he fishes his BlackBerry from his pocket.
“I’ll go and get Ethan. I’ll be two minutes,” I mouth at Christian.
Christian nods, obviously distracted by the call.
Oh no, he has let his guard down. I wonder if something will happen.
I freeze instinctively as soon as I step inside … because the pale, wan figure standing by the kitchen island and holding a small revolver is Leila, and she’s gazing impassively at me.
Probably if you just turned around and walked calmly away, she wouldn’t do anything. But then Christian wouldn’t get to rescue you.
Read Chapter Thirteen.