Happy Thursday, all! Time for the recap of the second part of Chapter Twenty-four of Fifty Shades Freed. I can’t believe we’e almost done with this series! But no worries, there’s still fun to be had!
“You both have troubled pasts, and you were both born in Detroit. That’s it, Christian.” I fist my hands on my hips.
“Ana, your faith in me is touching, especially in light of the last few days. We’ll know more when Welch is here.” He’s dismissing the subject.
He stops me with a kiss. “Enough,” he breathes, and I remember the promise I made to myself not to hound him for information.
“And don’t pout,” he adds. “Come. Let me dry your hair.”
And I know the subject is closed.
“Kate was there?”
“Briefly, yes. She’s mad at you, too.”
I turn in his lap. “Stop with the everyone is mad at Ana crap, okay?”
“Just telling you the truth,” Christian says, bemused by my outburst.
“Yes, it was reckless, but you know, your sister was in danger.”
His face falls. “Yes. She was.” Switching off the hairdryer, he puts it down on the bed beside him. He grasps my chin.
“Thank you,” he says, surprising me. “But no more recklessness. Because next time, I will spank the living shit out of you.”
“I would.” He’s serious. Holy cow. Deadly serious. “I have your stepfather’s permission.” He smirks. He’s teasing me! Or is he? I launch myself at him, and he twists so that I fall onto the bed and into his arms. As I land, pain from my ribs shoots through me and I wince.
Christian pales. “Behave!” he admonishes, and for a moment he’s angry.
He nuzzles my hand and kisses it gently. “Honestly, Ana, you really have no regard for your own safety.” He tugs up the hem of my T-shirt then rests his fingers on my belly. I stop breathing. “It’s not just you anymore,” he whispers, trailing his fingertips along the waistband of my sweats, caressing my skin. Desire explodes unexpected, hot, and heavy in my blood. I gasp and Christian tenses, halting his fingers and gazing down at me. He moves his hand up and tucks a stray lock of hair behind my ear.
“No,” he whispers.
“Don’t look at me like that. I’ve seen the bruises. And the answer’s no.” His voice is firm, and he kisses my forehead.
I squirm. “Christian,” I whine.
“No. Get into bed.” He sits up.
“You need rest.”
“I need you.”
He closes his eyes and shakes his head as if it’s a great effort of will. When he opens them again, his eyes are bright with his resolve. “Just do as you’re told, Ana.”
Holy cow! “What’s wrong?” I ask immediately, sitting up and ignoring my protesting ribs.
“Welch has just left.”
Oh shit. “And?”
“I lived with the fucker,” he whispers.
“Lived? With Jack?”
He nods, eyes wide.
“No. Good God, no.”
I shuffle over and pull the duvet back, inviting him into bed beside me, and to my surprise he doesn’t hesitate. He kicks off his shoes and slides in alongside me. Wrapping one arm around me, he curls up, resting his head in my lap. I’m stunned. What’s this?
“After I was found with the crack whore, before I went to live with Carrick and Grace, I was in the care of Michigan State. I lived in a foster home. But I can’t remember anything about that time.”
My mind reels. A foster home? This is news to both of us.
“For how long?” I whisper.
“Two months or so. I have no recollection.”
“Have you spoken to your mom and dad about it?”
“Perhaps you should. Maybe they could fill in the blanks.”
Okay, first, he would be in the care of the State of Michigan, not Michigan State. Unless this were the case.
Kate is apoplectic with righteous indignation that’s aimed at me, Christian, but most of all Jack and Elizabeth.
“What were you thinking, Ana?” she shouts as she confronts me in the kitchen, causing all eyes in the room to turn and stare.
“Kate, please. I’ve had the same lecture from everyone!” I snap back. She glares at me, and for one minute I think I’m going to be subjected to a Katherine Kavanagh how-not-to-succumb-to-kidnappers lecture, but instead she folds me in her arms.
“Jeez—sometimes you don’t have the brains you were born with, Steele,” she whispers. As she kisses my cheek, there are tears in her eyes. Kate! “I’ve been so worried about you.”
THAT’S IT. THAT’S THE ENTIRE BOOK SERIES.
Elliot hands me a glass of champagne.
Christian emerges from his study, looking ashen, and follows his parents into the great room. His eyes widen when he sees the glass in my hand.
Now he’s going to try to control everything she puts in her body because she’s a vessel for his unborn child. Just like John Hurt was the vessel for the alien babies. So that means Christian is a Republican. Why am I not surprised?
“You’re very good for him. He doesn’t listen to anyone else.”
I frown. I don’t think that’s true. The unwelcome specter of the Bitch Troll looms large in my mind. I know Christian talks to Grace, too. I heard him. Again I feel a moment’s frustration as I try to fathom their conversation in the hospital, but it still eludes me.
I think everything has eluded you, Ana. You don’t seem to get anything.
“Baby, you’ve been through enough. Besides, I have a bedtime story for you.”
“You wanted to know . . .” He trails off, closes his eyes and swallows.
All of the hair on my body stands on end. Shit.
He begins in a soft voice. “Picture this, an adolescent boy looking to earn some extra money so he can continue his secret drinking habit.” He shifts onto his side so that we’re lying facing each other and he’s gazing into my eyes.
“So I was in the backyard at the Lincolns’, clearing some rubble and trash from the extension Mr. Lincoln had just added to their place . . .”
Holy fuck . . . he’s talking.
And that’s it for this week!