Updated on August 5, 2015
50 Shades Freed – Chapter 16
Ana and Christian are back in Seattle after their holiday. It’s nearly Ana’s birthday and they’re going to drive out to their big, new house to see how Elliot is doing with the renovations. Oh, and Christian’s ex Leila, who once held Ana at gunpoint, has just showed up at her office. Lovely.
Read Chapter 15.
50 Shades Freed
“She’s not alone. She’s accompanied by another young woman.”
Maybe it’s a self-improvement thing. She’s here to make amends for past transgressions, like sticking a gun in Ana’s face.
Prescott enters my office.
Don’t know who this is. Security?
“Leila Williams is on your proscribed list of visitors.”
I have a proscribed list?
You’re married to Christian. How are you STILL surprised by these things?
“I’d like to know what she wants.”
“I’m supposed to prevent that, ma’am.”
Yes, yes, shut up. Bring the psycho in.
“I’d like to search them both.”
“Okay.” I’ll grant her this concession.
How nice of you to allow Prescott to check your potentially dangerous visitor for weapons.
“Shall I cancel your next meeting?”
“Yes,” I murmur.
Of course. Heaven forfend that work should take precedent EVER during working hours.
I need to tell him that I am doing this. I type a quick email.
Chances of Christian showing up and turning a tense situation into a volatile one? 100%.
Leila looks much better. There’s a rosy bloom to her cheeks, her hair clean and shiny.
Oh, she’s pretty now? Then let’s forgive her!
“This is my friend, Susi.”
“Hi.” I nod at Susi. She looks like Leila. She looks like me. Oh no. Another one.
“Yes,” Leila says. “Susi knows Mr Grey, too.”
It’s a big ex convention!
Someone in the office pops in to tell her Christian is on the phone and it’s urgent. Ana refuses to take the call.
“We call ourselves the sub club.” Susi grins.
You could just GET ON WITH YOUR LIVES.
“I’ll wait in Reception. This is Lulu’s show.”
Susi exits the room.
Things are going to be so much more comfortable now.
Christian calls again. This time Ana takes it.
“What the fuck are you playing at?” he shouts. “Hell, Ana, I am fucking furious.”
“Goodbye, Christian.” I hang up and switch off Prescott’s phone.
I reenter the meeting room.
Maybe a hyphen would have been useful there?
“First, I wanted to apologise,” she says softly.
I hadn’t expected an apology.
Why not? Surely if you were expecting anything else you wouldn’t have gone into a room with her?
“I wanted to see Susi, and you, and … Mr Grey.”
“You want to see Christian?”
Bahaha, that’ll go well.
“Yes. I wanted to ask you if that would be okay.”
Imagine! Someone asking for Ana’s permission!
“Leila, it’s not up to me, it’s up to Christian.”
Nooo! YOU momentarily had the power to make a decision for HIM.
“You’ll need to ask him. He doesn’t need my permission.”
IS THIS IRONY DELIBERATE? I DON’T THINK IT’S DELIBERATE.
Leila reveals that Christian has repeatedly refused to see her, but he has been funding her art school classes.
To my surprise, I feel no ill will toward her. I’m glad she’s better.
Ana’s so generous, not hating someone for having a severe psychotic episode.
“Mrs Grey, I loved Geoff, my boyfriend who died earlier this year. I loved my husband … and one other.”
Now, I think she’s saying that Geoff was her husband and she also loved Christian. I know it doesn’t SAY that. I know it sounds like Christian was her husband and Geoff her boyfriend, but trust me, I don’t think that’s what EL James is getting at.
I know Christian will be here soon.
“You’ll get your chance to see Christian.”
“I thought I would.” She smiles.
Yeh, he’s going to turn up furious and raving though. Might not be terribly helpful.
“He seemed very happy. With you.” she says. “From when I was in the apartment.”
“Were you there often?”
So we’re just talking about her home invasions like they ain’t no thang, then?
There’s a scuffle outside and CHRISTIAN ENTERS. His anger is almost tedious at this point.
“You,” he says to Prescott. “You’re fired. Get out now.”
Working his way up the pile of people he has power over. What a nice man.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” he growls at Leila. “If you come anywhere near my wife again, I will cut off all support.”
God, he’s so PREDICTABLE.
Christian asks Leila why she wants so desperately to see him. She says that she just wanted to check he was OK. Certainly seems worth traumatising yourself over.
“I’m fine. And if you take one step west of the Mississippi, it’s all gone.”
I gape at him. What the fuck is eating him?
To be fair, he is afraid that she might KILL HIS WIFE, which would make anyone a bit crazy.
“She has plans,” I object.
“Ana, this does not concern you.”
Of course it concerns me. She’s in my office.
Well, yes. And she’s talking to your husband. And she once held you at gunpoint. The office thing actually isn’t a very big deal.
“This is the Christian Grey I know,” she says. Was Christian like this with her all the time? Was he like this with me, at first?
He’s like this with you NOW. He’s literally doing it to you RIGHT NOW.
Ana is outraged by how Christian is treating Leila, without realising that this is exactly how he treats her. Leila agrees to all Christian’s demands and leaves.
“Don’t even think about being angry with me,” I hiss.
“You promised you wouldn’t defy me.”
“No I didn’t.”
Yep, she never signed that contract, dude.
“Why were you so callous toward her?”
He’s told you a MILLION TIMES, Ana. He wants to protect you (albeit in a horrible, twisted way).
“You are the center of my universe. And the last time you two were in a room together, she had you at gunpoint.”
How can he say he doesn’t care about her? He did back then. What’s changed?
Come on, you don’t seriously believe that once liking someone makes you like them forever.
His eyes frost. “I told you once, I don’t have a heart,” he mutters.
Oh, fuck off if you’re not going to be serious.
It’s painstakingly obvious that he cares.
PAINFULLY obvious. ‘Painstakingly obvious’ is NOT a phrase, you incompetent MORON.
He tells her the discussion is over and they should go home. It isn’t the end of the working day yet but he doesn’t care.
“I’m tired of having the same argument with you,” I elucidate. “I do something you don’t like, and you think of some way to get back at me. Usually involving some of your kinky fuckery, which is either mind-blowing or cruel.”
Is Ana on the verge of making a good point?
“Mind-blowing?” he asks. “What was mind-blowing?”
I know he’s trying to distract me.
Then don’t let him.
“You know.” I blush.
“I can guess,” he whispers.
No, keep going, you were doing so well!
Oh, he smells good. He gazes down at me, his lips curled in an arrogant, I-so-own-you smile.
Slipping, slipping back again.
“Well, the handcuffs,” I mumble.
I’d give up, but I already did two books ago.
She says that she doesn’t want to have sex in the office. She also doesn’t want to go home early. So they have sex in the office and go home early.
“I want you to tell me something,” I whisper.
Oh, this should be good.
“I want you to admit that you care. Because the Christian I know and love would care.”
She’s terrified that if he can be that callous to Leila, he could be callous to her. Let’s conveniently forget the he’s CALLOUS TO HER ALL THE TIME.
“Yes. Yes, I care.”
Hooray! He’s a good person except for every action that has ever betrayed his true sadistic nature! Hooray!
Another day at work, Ana gets a call to say that Ray (step-dad) has been in an accident.
Oh no. Daddy. I stop breathing.
We’ll have to wait until next week to see if she starts again. Here’s hoping she doesn’t.
Read Chapter 17.