50 Shades Freed – Chapter 23

At last something is actually happening in this book. Angry ex-boss Jack Hyde kidnapped Christian’s sister and called Ana asking for money in return for not killing her. In order to get the cash, Ana had to pretend to Christian that she was leaving him (boo hoo!), then she ended up on the outskirts of town being beaten up by Jack, until Christian showed up and saved her.

Read Chapter 22.

50 Shades Freed
Chapter 23

There is only pain. Pain and hushed words in the gloom.

Not ONLY pain then.

“Her ribs are bruised, Mr Grey, and she has a hairline fracture to her skull, but her vital signs are stable and strong.”

Character wakes up in time to hear her own diagnosis. Convenient!

“And the baby?”
“The baby’s fine, Mr Grey.”
“Oh, thank God.”
Oh my. He’s worried about the baby.

Of course he is, EL James is forcing all the elements into place for a ‘happy’ ending.

Next time she comes to, Christian and his dad are chatting.

“I’ll sit with her. It’s the least I can do after she saved my daughter.”

Hate to be pernickety, but she didn’t really save anyone. If you guys hadn’t followed her, she’d have given Jack Hyde $5 million dollars and died for her troubles. And Mia would have been killed. But sure, Ana’s a hero. Let’s go with that.

“[Mia]’s groggy … scared and angry.”

But alive. Hoorah.

“My crazy, stupid wife – Why didn’t she tell me?” Christian’s voice is full of anguish.
“Christian, Ana’s a remarkable young woman. She was incredibly brave.”

And she dealt with the situation abysmally. Seriously, why’s she getting so much praise for nearly fucking up her life, Mia’s life and the life of her unborn freaking child?

She blanks out again, then wakes up to hear Christian and Ray talking about how Christian should spank her for what she did. That’s all kinds of creepy, which is probably why she slips away again.

“Detective, as you can see, my wife is in no state to answer any of your questions.”
“Miss Morgan is singing like the proverbial canary.”
The fog surrounds me once more.

This slipping in and out of awareness is getting mighty tedious.

More snippets of conversation. Christian’s mum shows up and asks him what he did, and he tells her about Baby-Gate. They have a heart to heart and go on about how great Ana is. Later, Ana finally wakes up.

I have a pressing need to pee.

Let it never be said that EL James is afraid to confront gritty and mundane realities.

Christian is asleep, sitting beside me. He startles awake.
“Hi,” I croak.

Nothing like a near death experience to make you forget what a horribly abusive arsehole your husband is.

Why do I ache everywhere?

Because you were BRUTALLY BEATEN.

A nurse bustles into the room.
“I need to pee.”
“You have a catheter.”

Sweet. All the relief, none of the effort.

Ana asks to get up.

“Let me remove your catheter. Mr Grey, I am sure Mrs Grey would like some privacy.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”

Fuck off! She’s having her pee tube removed!

“Christian, please,” I whisper.
“Fine! You have two minutes.”

Wrong. She has as long as it takes, you twat.

After the catheter’s out Christian comes back in and insists on carrying Ana to the bathroom himself, despite the nurse’s protestations. Call me old-fashioned, but my idea of love and romance would be my partner letting trained medical professionals do their fucking jobs.

Tentatively, I sit down on the toilet.
“Go.”
“No. Just pee, Ana.”
“Please,” I beg.

You shouldn’t have to BEG someone to let you pee in solitude.

“I’ll stand outside, door open.”

This whole debacle is getting right on my tits.

After several pages dedicated to Ana getting a drink of water (I kid you not), Christian fills her in. Mia’s was drugged and kidnapped, but she’s fine now. Jack and Elizabeth are in custody, but Jack’s in hospital ‘cos Ana shot him in the knee.

I weep into his neck.
“What I said. I was never going to leave you.”

More’s the pity.

“When we spoke at the bank. Thinking I was leaving you. I thought you knew me better. I’ve said to you over and over I would never leave.”

Right, but then you had a terrible fight and literally told him you were leaving him. I don’t think it was unreasonable for him to believe you.

More chatting, then chicken soup arrives.

My hunger is primal. I pause only to wipe my mouth with the linen napkin.

Yeh, that’s fucking primal all right. Wiping your mouth like some kind of ANIMAL.

Christian explains that they found Ana at the bank because her car is fitted with a tracking device. Ana finds this amusing, rather than monumentally nasty. Then he gets into bed with her and she asks why he went to see Mrs Robinson/Elena Whatever Face. He says he’ll tell her in the morning. The next morning Ana wakes up first.

Nurse Nora’s mouth is pursed and her arms folded in hostility.
“This is your bed. Not his.”
“I slept better because he was here.”

Oh yeh, hospital beds are known for being big enough to comfortably sleep two people. I’m surprised neither of them fell out in the night.

He mumbles in his sleep, “Don’t touch me. No more. Only Ana.”

Nobody sleep-talks like this. It’s actually nonsense like, “Where is the special Santa Claus milk?” Honestly, I didn’t make that one up.

She falls asleep again. When she wakes up Christian’s gone and Carrick (his dad) shows up.

“I don’t know how to thank you for my daughter. What you did probably saved her life.”

Did it? Did it really?

“He’s a little mad at you.”
“Christian is always mad at me.”
“Is he?” Carrick smiles, pleased – as if this is a good thing.

I feel like so many times Ana has hinted to friends and family that her marriage ain’t all that, and they just smile about it. Will nobody LISTEN TO HER?

“I don’t want you taking any more silly risks with the life of my grandchild.”
I flush. He knows!
“Christian will come around. This will be the best thing for him. Just … give him some time.”

You know, the baby was as much of a shock for Ana, and she’s expected to just get on with it. But Christian is a delicate flower and he needs time to get used to the idea. Fuck’s sake.

Christian comes back with food.

“I like to watch you eat,” he says.

*shudders*

“If I knew getting you knocked up was going to make you eat, I might have done it earlier.”

*shudders harder*

“Christian, we need to talk about this.”
“What’s there to say? We’re going to be parents.”

What’s there to say? You told her she was fucking stupid and stormed out! What’s there to say?!

“What kind of father could I possibly be?”
“One that tries his best.”
“Ana – I don’t know if I can…”

Fair enough, you probably shouldn’t bother then. It’s OK, Ana will take care of it; you go do whatever you want.

(Look, I know the ‘I’m scared’ conversation is one that all couples have before having a baby and that’s fine. But Christian has been nothing but a petulant child for three whole books, which is why I’m treating him like one here.)

“I’ll try to be a good father.”
“And you’ll succeed. And let’s face it; Blip and I are not going anywhere.”

Poor little Blip.


Read Chapter 24.

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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