50 Shades Freed – Chapter 10

Christian went away for a few days and Ana went out for a couple of drinks with her friend. How DARE she. When she got back to the apartment, everything was in chaos and Jack I-want-revenge-for-sexually-harassing-you-and-not-getting-away-with-it Hyde was passed out on the floor with a security guard standing over him.

Read Chapter 9.

50 Shades Freed
Chapter 10

My heart is pounding and blood thrums loudly in me eardrums; the alcohol flowing through my system amplifies the sound.

Is that how science works? IS IT?

“Ma’am. Just knocked out cold.”
Relief floods through me.

Ana’s such a good person. She doesn’t wish her stalker dead!

“And Gail? Mrs Jones?”
“I’m here, Ana.”

Well, looks like everyone’s OK. May as well go to bed.

She’s probably just come out of the panic room … Who knew we’d need it so soon?

Christian, who had it built, presumably.

Ryan the security guard explains that Jack turned up wearing gloves and tried to get on the service elevator. Ryan let him in so he could capture him in the apartment. Cunning plan.

Gloves? The thought distracts me. Creepy.

Anyone breaking in anywhere would wear gloves. Why is this surprising?

“We need to secure him. Something to restrain him – cord or rope.”
Cable ties. I flush as memories of the night before invade my mind.

Just get out the fluffy handcuffs, why not?

They tie him up.

Then I notice the Glock on the floor with a silencer attached. Holy shit! Jack was armed?

Oh come on, am I supposed to believe that someone who got fired from his job decided MURDER was the answer? No, I shall not.

Ryan pauses and partially pulls a roll of duct tape from the man’s pocket.

Maybe he just wanted to help with your sex games?

“I think we should call the police,” I say.

No shit.

I decide to call Christian.

Yes, even better than the police. Your psychotic husband.

And then it occurs to me. Shit. What if I’d been here?

That occurs to you NOW? The gun and duct tape didn’t do it for you?

She calls Christian. Bear in mind at this point NOBODY has called the police. So, she calls Christian. She gets voice mail, tells him something happened but everyone is fine so ‘don’t worry’. HA! Then Sawyer calls the police (AT LAST!) and they come over.

“Hyde is known to us,” Detective Clark murmurs.

How mysterious. Could it be to do with whatever was on his computer?

I remind myself to call Mom and Ray.

There are reporters outside and you still haven’t called your parents?

And suddenly I feel homesick for Christian. I want to have him hold me and tell me that he loves me, even though I don’t do as I’m told.

You’re lucky he loves someone so horribly disobedient.

She goes to bed (still hasn’t called her parents!) and wakes up to find Christian there.

How did he get here?

Ooh, I’m going to guess … by camel. No wait, PRIVATE FUCKING JET.

“You’re still mad.”
“No, Ana. I am way, way beyond mad.”

You bloody shouldn’t be, you controlling prick.

“I’m okay. We’re all okay. And Jack is gone.”
He shakes his head. “No thanks to you.”
What?

Yeh, what?

He kisses her (what a good man, to consider forgiving her her transgressions) and she goes to sleep again. When she wakes up in the morning he’s in the shower and she slips in behind him.

He places both his hands on mine and brings them to an abrupt halt. He shakes his head.

No more than you deserve, you wayward harpy.

My subconscious shakes her head, wearing her you’ve-really-fucked-up-this-time-look.

Christ, you haven’t fucked up! You went out with your friend to a bar!

“And all because you can’t follow a simple, fucking request.”

Christian’s not in the bedroom when I come out. I throw on my favourite plum dress and black sandals, and I’m conscious that I’ve chosen this outfit because Christian likes it.

Shame he doesn’t like you any more.

Fitting diamond stud into my ears, I dash to the bathroom to apply a little mascara.

Just casually chucking diamonds on like it ain’t no thang.

I need to face the consequences of my rash decision to actually enjoy myself with my friend.

LISTEN TO YOURSELF WOMAN.

She has breakfast and realises she’s late for work. Christian is in the kitchen.

“You’re going?” he says when he sees me.
“To work? Yes, of course.”

Every FUCKING time this is a conversation. Of course she’s going to work: she’s an employed person who likes her job. Does he think this constant undermining is HELPING? /rant

I don’t want to fight. I was coming to ask you if I could take my car.”
“No. You can’t.”

It’s YOUR motherfudging car.

I remember my mom’s words of wisdom before my wedding. Ana, honey, you really have to choose your battles.

What you’re doing is choosing not to fight any battles, even when you’re right.

“You haven’t kissed me,” I whisper.
Abruptly he stands and grabs my face between his hands, and in a flash his lips are hard on mine.

I just don’t get how his possessiveness, his guilt-tripping, his need for control in every aspect of her life is seen by anybody as anything but emotional abuse.

She gets in the car with Taylor (security) and they drive to work. On the way (hallelujah!) she calls her mum and step-dad. They arrive at work and there are paparazzi outside.

“Are you sure you want to do this, Mrs Grey?”

Et tu, Taylor?

“Take me around to the delivery entrance, please, Taylor.”

They’ll never think to look there!

Later on at work, Elizabeth (colleague? boss?) comes in to ask if she’s OK. She says she’ll help Ana with anything she needs. How genuinely nice of her.

That has to have been the briefest, most pointless meeting in the Western Hemisphere today.

Well, way to be an ungrateful bitch.

I reach for my BlackBerry. As I do, my work e-mail pings.

No. No. Please. Not emails. *I am dragged backwards by my ankles, clawing the ground and screaming*

“Anastasia. Detective Clark will be visiting your office today at 3pm to take your statement.”

Christian. Thanks for letting me organise a time that is convenient for me.

She says OK and he doesn’t reply (thank you, God). Then she realises that he was wearing his tux when she saw him this morning, meaning he left New York mid-function, before the Jack incident.

Last night at that hour, I was still at large with Kate.

“Aw heck, Sheriff, that varmint Anastasia is still at large. Better put up a WANTED poster.”

If Christian came back merely because I was out, then he was overreacting.

So you can be pretty sure that’s why he came back.

She emails Christian to ask him, but gets no response. She emails again, a pretty good message actually.

“I am an adult female and went for a drink with my friend. I did not understand the security ramifications of CHANGING MY MIND because YOU NEVER TELL ME ANYTHING. Fact is, we were safer in the bar than at the apartment. I understand your concerns are something to do with material that was on Jack’s computer. I am your WIFE. Are you going to tell me? You are not the only one is fucking pissed. Okay?”

Woo! Woohoo! Woo!

“Perhaps we can discuss this when you get home to OUR apartment.” Christian Grey.

Oh, so when you want to talk it can’t wait, but when she wants to talk you decide when?

She gives her statement to Detective Clark: uneventful. After work, she gets driven home.

I drop my briefcase in the hall and head into the great room. I stop. Holy fuck.

Is it a huge banner saying, “Sorry”?

Christian is standing by the piano, dressed in a tight black T-shirt and jeans … those jeans – the ones he wore in the playroom.

Again, HOW CAN YOU TELL IT’S THE SAME JEANS? JEANS ARE JEANS ARE JEANS.

“Good to have you home. I’ve been waiting for you.”

Wait, that’s it? She stopped and said holy fuck because he was wearing some jeans? Gaargh!


Read Chapter 11.

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.

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Eating disorder helpline 0845 634 1414

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11 Comments on “50 Shades Freed – Chapter 10

  1. Now that I’ve gotten to the most recent post, I wanted to parse out this idea I’ve had building in my mind.

    Against my better judgement, I kept thinking of how the basic set-up of “Fifty Shades” COULD work. I’m an amateur when it comes to snarking about romance books (I’m still working on my own column) but I do have vague understandings of how certain tropes in women’s’ fiction work. Like Ana on her first meeting with Christian tripping is straight out of a romantic comedy on how “endearing” it is to meet the man of your dreams and fall flat on your face. LOL how clumsy and embarrassing! Even the idea of a woman winning over a hard-hearted man through her love is at least as old as “Beauty and the Beast” and “Jane Eyre” but at least Belle and Jane had the backbones to leave (though they come back later) Those are just two examples but it all feeds into double standards women get fed about love and sexuality and just the ineptitude of E.L. James’ writing. One thing I tried to figure out the logic of, which you brought up, is that Ana is a college student who is completely unused to using a computer and then Christian buys her a Mac Book (nice product placement, btw) and then all of a sudden she’s all about emailing him and stuff. The only way I could see the logic of her not having a computer is she was homeschooled in a household without a computer or she was raised in a religious household that for the same reason plus the idea that computers were a gateway to ‘sinful’ behavior and she had to borrow computers in the library of her college or from her best friend Kate. Then I started thinking about a version of that laptop situation that had a logic to it than just having her being the only college student not having one:

    Ana has a laptop that she bought her first year in college through a payment plan. She’s used it for all of her assignments and by the time the plot kicks in, its on its last legs: its running out of memory, overheating, blah blah blah. She comes home and voila! Christian has bought her a brand new laptop! Yay! Only Ana freaks the fuck out because ALL of her work (including her thesis) was on the computer and she didn’t ask for her old laptop to be replaced.

    With that, I started thinking about how I would re-write it and then I hit on the idea that Ana DID come from a religious family. It would explain her ambivalence and angst to be in a BDSM dom/sub relationship and the fact she would be 23 years old and a sexual blank slate (“We shouldn’t be doing this. This seems…wrong.”) The more I thought about it, the more compelled me to write a better version with this in mind, even giving this version of Ana claustrophobia that would give her panic attacks whenever she went in the Red Room of Pain. Granted, it would essentially be a Fix Fic of an Alternate Universe Fic of “Twilight”, which makes my skin crawl now that I think about it but I still kind of want to anyway, if for no other reason to make it racier than this pile of crap and give the Ana character some semblance of a backbone. What do you think?

    • I think that’s a really interesting idea! At the moment Ana is just inexplicably out of touch with the modern world, but that back story would make some sense of it.

      I definitely think that Christian is meant to be following the ‘brooding male’ archetype from literature (just a shame it’s executed so poorly), so if he could teach Ana about everything (sex, her body, computers, money, power, etc) that could work really well. Particularly love the idea that the Red Room of Pain and everything about kinky sex conflicts with her straitlaced religious upbringing.

      In short, I would read it.

      • Yeah, I think its a holdover from of “Twilight” of all things to have Ana be a blank slate for the reader to project themselves onto (even Stephenie Meyer said she did that intentionally so y’know…) and that’s all well and good but one of the great things about books is letting do that through the writing even if you don’t share any characteristics with that character. That’s kind of what being a good writer is all about :P

        The out of touch stuff is bizarrely all-encompassing. I understand she’s just supposed to be a ugly duckling bookworm but it comes off as some kind of (pardon my French) retardation. She’s a complete crybaby co-dependent mess BEFORE she meets Christian.

        But yeah. The backstory of Ana coming from a religious upbringing made more sense with her being an inexperienced virgin as well as her back and forth waffling between “I like this and it feels good” and “But this is wrong. I shouldn’t be doing this.” that occupies a lot of her inner monologuing. Even the idea that Ana is a fan of English literature and Christian is a brooding Gothic anti-hero straight out of “Wuthering Heights”, that shoe never drops. It never dawns on her these qualities she finds totally dreamy AREN’T so dreamy when its a flesh and blood person. (I haven’t read Tess of the d’Ubervilles so I can’t speak for the parallels there are to Fifty Shades if any) Anyway, Nanowrimo is coming up and I’ve never actually written a romance. Who knows? ;)

        • Yes! Was toying with the idea of Nanowrimo myself this year – would be great for something actually good to come out of this big 50 Shades mess!

  2. As someone who has been in a relationship with a control freak /emotional abuser I can see why she simply brushes off his insanity and actually acts like she was in some way at fault. (Daddy issues, really,truly, sick, but true.) I cannot, however, CANNOT, excuse the fact that SHE MARRIED THE BASTARD, and acts like he’s her lord and master. If they still want to do that shit in their bedroom fine, bring it on, but a man pushing a woman around just so he feels in control IS NOT SEXY! Never has been, never will be. I don’t care how freaking hot or rich the little putz is, it’s NOT SEXY!! I just, I can’t, I just…..no words.

    • I know, I feel like this book is just about the inner workings of a woman in an abusive relationship, but somehow it’s being marketed as ‘sexy’ reading. It’s not, it’s horrifying!

      (Sorry you had to go through something similar, I hope you’re in a better place now :) )

  3. How thrilling would it be if this turned into a story about a murderer who married a woman who looked exactly like all of his victims? I say this because, let’s be honest, in real life, Christian Gray would be a stone cold killer. He has all the character traits. Paranoid to the point of destruction, he takes out his rages on women bewitched by his charm and position in society. He is clearly a sociopath.

    • That would be AWESOME! El James should release book 4 (OK, not her, someone who can actually write) in which Christian goes crazy and kills everyone. And then in all the interviews EL James can be like, “What? Wasn’t it obvious from the start that he was a psychopath? This was ALWAYS going to happen.”

      The biggest literary rug-pulling moment in history.

      • All Christian Gray fans would weep, and the evilest part of me would be so happy about it. My subconscious and inner goddess would do the samba in tandem, and I would be totally aware of it because I am just THAT good. Truly though, in my head, E.L. James is a cartoon monkey banging on the keyboard as though it were a pair of symbols and on her right hand is Stephanie Meyer, grinning stupidly with crossed eyes. I don’t think it’s even possible to cover how much I hate this series. I read the first page of the first book and instantly went into an irrational rage that this junk sold millions. Also, it just blows my mind that thousands argue that there is no abuse displayed in these books. In an interview, (part of my irrational anger included near obsessive hate research) James said that she thought every woman wants to be controlled, that we think it would be a relief to have our man tell us what to do. I nearly broke my computer. (I realize this rant spiraled a little bit, but these books really bother me…obviously.)

        • I’m totally with you. I think I went through the 5 stages of grief reading this series (except acceptance, never acceptance). It’s FILLED with abuse and it’s TERRIBLY written. Sometimes it’s healthier just to let these rants out!

          • It helps that in a world of 50 Shades zombies, I have found some kindred spirits. Thanks again!

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