50 Shades Freed – Chapter 22

Christian found out Ana was pregnant and went out to get drunk with his ex-Dom. Ana stood up to him (at last) when she found out, and poor baby couldn’t handle having an argument so he ran away on a business trip to Portland. Then Ana’s old boss and horrible stalker, Jack, called her up on Mia’s phone. Dun dun dunnnn…

Read Chapter 21.

50 Shades Freed
Chapter 22

How is he out of jail? Why does he have Mia’s phone?

Oh, you gon’ die.

“You do remember me,” he says.

She missed a golden opportunity to say, “Jack? I don’t know a Jack, I’m afraid. Sorry.”

Hang up.

Mm, he has Mia’s phone. Probably don’t hang up.

“Listen here, you prick-teasing, gold-digging whore. You fucked up my life.”

Hate it when bitches ruin people’s lives by not letting themselves be assaulted.

“And you, that cocksucker you married, and his whole fucking family are going to pay.”

This guy is such a villain he may as well be wearing a cape and a long, twirly moustache.

“What do you want?”
“I want his money.”

No you don’t, you want revenge. Character motivations are all up the fucking spout.

“I want five million dollars, today.”
“Jack, I don’t have access to that kind of money.”

I’ll bet you do. Christian would probably give you that in loose change.

“Tell no one or this little bitch gets it. You have two hours.”

Right, you’re obviously going to call the police, though.

My mind rockets through the possibilities. Tell Christian? Tell Taylor? Call the police?

Yes, obviously. Do all the things.

Get home. Change.

WHY? If you’re working against the clock, why the fuck are you GETTING CHANGED?

Find checkbook. Escape from Ryan and Sawyer somehow.

Ana.

Go to bank.

Ana. Ana, mate.

How much room does five million dollars take up? What will it weigh?

Ana. Call the police.

My hand strays down to my belly. And you, Little Blip. Keep you safe.

I would have thought NOT MEETING A MAN WHO HAS THREATENED TO MURDER SOMEONE would be the best way to protect your unborn child.

They get back home. Ana finds Christian’s checkbooks and also Leila’s gun, which lives in his desk. She takes it. Then she goes to the bedroom and feels guilty for sleeping apart from Christian last night.

What is the point of arguing with someone who, by his own admission, is Fifty Shades?

What is this logic? You shouldn’t tell someone off when he’s in the wrong, because he’s messed up? So he should just get away with everything then?

Now I just have to get out of Escala without Sawyer seeing me.

That’s right, sneak past the man who has been HIRED TO PROTECT YOU.

I race to the elevator. After an agonizing pause, the doors slowly start to slide shut, and as they do I hear Sawyer’s cries.
“Ana!” he shouts in disbelief.

I bet Ana is going to be really shocked when Christian fires Sawyer.

She manages to drive away without being followed by Sawyer and she goes to the bank.

The bank is sleek, modern and understated. There are hushed tones, echoing floors…

And we’re in the middle of a kidnap storyline so we really don’t care.

“How much will you be withdrawing today, Mrs Grey?”
“Five million dollars.”

Oh sure, no problem. Do you want a receipt?

The boss comes in.

“We normally ask for some notice for large amounts of money. Fortunately, however, we hold the cash reserve for the entire Pacific Northwest.”

Sweet. Who knew it was so easy to get 5 million dollars?

I hand over my license.
“Mrs Grey … this says Anastasia Steele.”

Bahahaha. Mia’s going to die because you didn’t check your bloody ID.

I dig out my black Amex.
“Yes, that should do. This is highly irregular.”
“Do you want me to let my husband know that your bank has been less than cooperative?”

Couldn’t sound more like you’re bluffing if you’d prefaced that with, “I’m bluffing.”

She starts writing a check (she hasn’t said that she wants cash yet), then Christian calls her at the bank. God knows how he knows she’s there. He hasn’t called her mobile.

“You’re leaving me?”
He thinks I’m going because of the money? The only way I’m going to keep Christian at arm’s length and to save his sister … is to lie.
“Yes,” I whisper.

Oh Ana, you’re so noble and wonderful! Such a martyr! We love you so much!

“But why the cash? Was it always the money?”
“No,” I whisper.
“And the baby?”

Oh, that one you screamed at me about?

“I’ll take care of the baby,” I murmur.
He inhales sharply. “Take it all,” he hisses.

Sweet! You can get out of your toxic relationship and take all the money!

I nearly cave. Nearly tell him – about Jack, about Mia, about the ransom.

For FUCK’S sake, tell him.

She doesn’t tell him and the conversation ends. The boss of the bank, Whelan, prepares the money and gives it to her. When she gets outside, Sawyer is waiting for her, so she rushes back inside.

“I need to make a call. Could you give me some privacy, please?”
I call Mia’s cell phone.

Just a sec, got to call my sister-in-law’s kidnapper.

“Your security followed you to the bank. You’ll have to lose him. I have a car waiting at the back of the bank.”

Why didn’t Jack just come to the bank, then? Why doesn’t Ana just give the cash to the driver? Can’t she tell Sawyer that she’s left Christian so he should just fuck off?

Whelan escorts her out the back, with some security guards to carry the money. They approach the car Jack has waiting and a woman is there to meet them, Elizabeth from the office! Double agent bitch! (No, I can’t remember who she is either.)

Whelan and his team disappear back into the bank, leaving me alone with a woman who’s involved in kidnapping, extortion, and very possibly other felonies. Why?

Because YOU DIDN’T TELL THEM.

“Elizabeth, you have the money. Call Jack. Tell him to let Mia go.”
“I think he wants to thank you in person.”
Shit!

You got in a car with this woman. Where did you think you were going?

In that moment I know that he [has some kind of hold on her]. Theft from the company? Something sexual?

Well, Jack IS a hell of a catch, what with the sexism and misogyny.

Before long we’re driving through residential streets. I catch sight of one of the street signs: SOUTH IRVING STREET.

Guys, it’s a significant detail. Pay attention, maybe it will be important later. (Or it won’t be and EL James is just doing pointless writing again.)

They pull up in a car park near some derelict buildings. Jack comes out to meet them, wearing a suit. Well, if you’re going to do a kidnapping, you might as well look smart.

“The money?”
Elizabeth is checking the bags in the trunk.
“And her cell?”
“In the trash.”

Did you turn it off first, ‘cos I’ll wager someone will call it and find it there.

Jack lashes out, backhanding me hard across the face.

Obviously she doesn’t deserve this, but I hate her so much I can’t help but feel a little happy that she got smacked.

He knocks me to the ground, and my head bounces with a sickening thud off the concrete.

Surprise! Violent man is violent.

“Jack!” Elizabeth screeches. “Not here. Not in broad daylight for fuck’s sake!”

Beat her up in the dark instead. Sensible.

It gives me one precious second to reach around and pull out the gun. I aim at him, squeeze the trigger, and fire. The bullet hits him just above the knee.

Hooray! Should have hit him in the balls though.

Darkness consuming her. Consuming me.
“Ana!” Christian’s voice.
Darkness … peace.

Look at that, Ana’s a hero. Never saw that coming.


Read Chapter 23.

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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