Hello, cats and kittens! It’s time for another recap of Fifty Shades Darker. This time we’re on Chapter Three, so as Christian Grey would say, “Give it up for me, baby,” and on with this trainwreck.
The one good thing about being car-less is that on the bus on my way to work, I can plug my headphones into my iPad while it’s safely in my purse and listen to all the wonderful tunes Christian has given me.
The one good thing is that you jaywalk across the street while distractedly listening to your music, get hit by a car, and croak on the spot. End of book.
I have more color in my cheeks, and my eyes are shining. It’s the Christian Grey effect. A little e-mail sparring with him will do that to a girl.
I have better things to do at work than argue with my boyfriend over email. Like actually working.
Most of the women in the office wear either jeans or floaty skirts. I will need to invest in a floaty skirt or two. Perhaps I’ll do that this weekend and bank the check Christian gave me for Wanda, my Beetle.
We all know your Beetle was named Wanda. She’s gone. Deal with it already. And no, investing in a floaty skirt ot two will not make you a Manic Pixie Dream Girl like you wish you were.
She stops, staring at me from about three feet away on the sidewalk, and I stare back, immobilized. Who is she? What does she want?
‘Can I help you?’ I ask. How does she know my name?
‘No . . . I just wanted to look at you.’ Her voice is eerily soft. Like me, she has dark hair that starkly contrasts with her fair skin. Her eyes are brown, like bourbon, but flat. There’s no life in them at all. Her beautiful face is pale, and etched with sorrow.
And here it is, the novel that James is referencing this time: The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins. Here we have Ana, who is in some ways like Laura Fairlie, encountering her half-mad doppleganger, Leila, who is supposed to be the Anne Catherick character. And who is Christian? Not Sir Percival Glyde. Or maybe he is! I wonder who Count Fosco is going to be…
‘Ana, think you made the right decision coming here?’ Jack’s voice is soft, and he’s standing a bit too close. But I’ve noticed that he has a tendency to do this with everyone, even at the office. My subconscious narrows her eyes. You’re reading too much into this, she admonishes me.
I feel him before I see him. It’s as if my whole body is highly attuned to his presence. It relaxes and ignites at the same time–a weird, internal duality–and I sense that strange pulsing electricity.
I can’t help but feel relieved, safe, and excited with his arm around me. He draws me to his side, and I glance up at him while he stares at Jack, his expression impassive. Turning his attention to me, he gives me a brief crooked smile followed by a swift kiss. He’s wearing his navy pinstriped jacket over jeans and an open white shirt. He looks edible.
Jack shuffles back uncomfortably.
‘Jack, this is Christian,’ I mumble apologetically. Why am I apologizing? ‘Christian, Jack.’
‘I’m the boyfriend,’ Christian says with a small, cool smile that doesn’t reach his eyes as he shakes Jack’s hand. I glance up at Jack who is mentally assessing the fine specimen of manhood in front of him.
At which point we learn that Ana has cannibalistic tendencies.
My cheeks turn pink, knowing that Taylor can hear us, grateful that he can’t see the scorching, panty-combusting look that Christian is giving me. It takes all my self-restraint not to leap on him right here, in the back seat of the car.
Oh, the back seat of the car . . . hmm. My inner goddess strokes her chin gently in quiet contemplation.
Well, your boyfriend is into kinks. Why not have Taylor watch?
‘Your boss, Jack Hyde, is he good at his job?’
Whoa! That’s a sudden change in direction? I frown. ‘Why? This isn’t about your pissing contest?’
Christian smirks. ‘That man wants into your panties, Anastasia,’ he says dryly.
I go crimson as my mouth drops open, and I glance nervously at Taylor. My subconscious inhales sharply, shocked.
‘Well, he can want all he likes . . . why are we even having this conversation? You know I have no interest in him whatsoever. He’s just my boss.’
‘That’s the point. He wants what’s mine. I need to know if he’s good at his job.’
I shrug. ‘I think so.’ Where is he going with this?
‘Well, he’d better leave you alone, or he’ll find himself on his ass on the sidewalk.’
I’m not understanding. What is so special about Ana? Why does she attract all these creepy, rapey guys? Is there any guy in this series who isn’t a creep?
“˜You’ve bought it. SIP. Already.’
He blinks at me, warily. “˜Possibly.’
“˜You have or you haven’t?’
What the hell? “˜Why?’ I gasp, appalled. Oh, this just is too much.
“˜Because I can, Anastasia. I need you safe.’
“˜But you said you wouldn’t interfere in my career!’
“˜And I won’t.’
I call bullshit on this one!
“˜Besides . . . anticipation is the key to seduction, and right now, I’m really into delayed gratification.’
Huh, since when?
“˜I’m seduced and I want my gratification now. I’ll beg, please.’ I sound whiney. My inner goddess is beside herself.
He smiles at me tenderly. “˜Eat. You’re too slender.’ He kisses my forehead and releases me.
And this is what’s called verbal abuse mixed with kindness! He’s just trying to get her to eat, all! He has good intentions behind it, so it’s all okay!
“˜I think we’ll eat later,’ he says. “˜Put the chicken in the fridge.’
And this is the unsexiest prelude to sex I have ever read.
And that’s it for this week! Stay tuned for Chapter Four next week!