Happy Hump Day, all! We’re currently on Chapter Twenty-five of Fifty Shades Freed, and we’re slogging our way to the bitter end. But there’s just way too much fun to have along the way, so let’s see what’s in store for this week!
“She thought I needed all the trappings of the lifestyle I enjoyed.”
“The Dom?” I whisper.
He nods. “It enabled me to keep everyone at arm’s length, gave me control, and kept me detached, or so I thought. I’m sure you’ve worked out why,” he adds softly.
“Your birth mom?”
“I didn’t want to be hurt again. And then you left me.” His words are barely audible. “And I was a mess.”
“I’ve avoided intimacy for so long—I don’t know how to do this.”
“Do you miss it?” I whisper.
“Yes, I do.”
“But only insofar as I miss the control it brings. And frankly, your stupid stunt”—he stops—“that saved my sister,” he whispers, his words full of relief, awe, and disbelief. “That’s how I know.”
“Really know that you love me.”
I frown. “You do?”
“Yes. Because you risked so much . . . for me, for my family.”
Now here’s the question: Was it all worth it, Ana?
My frown deepens. He reaches over and traces his finger over the middle of my brow above my nose.
“You have a V here when you frown,” he murmurs. “It’s very soft to kiss.”
“I can behave so badly . . . and yet you’re still here.”
“Why are you surprised I’m still here? I told you I wasn’t going to leave you.”
“Because of the way that I behaved when you told me you were pregnant.” He runs his finger down my cheek.
“You were right. I am an adolescent.”
Oh shit . . . I did say that. My subconscious glares at me. His doctor said that!
“Well, you pulled the rug from under me. Christ, was that unexpected. Never in a million years, when I asked you what was wrong, did I expect you to be pregnant.” He sighs. “I was so mad. Mad at you. Mad at myself. Mad at everyone. And it took me back, that feeling of nothing being in my control. I had to get out. I went to see Flynn, but he was at some school parents’ evening.” Christian pauses and arches an eyebrow.
Well, you do know that putting your penis in the vajayjay during sex can end up making a baby, right?
All the breath is sucked from my body. I feel winded, and I think my heart has stopped. That fucking bitch troll!
“It was a moment, suspended in time. She saw my expression, and she realized how far she’d crossed the line. I said . . . no. I haven’t thought of her like that for years, and besides”—he swallows—“I love you. I told her, I love my wife.”
I gaze at him. I don’t know what to say.
“She backed right off. Apologized again, made it seem like a joke. I mean, she said she’s happy with Isaac and with the business and she doesn’t bear either of us any ill will. She said she missed my friendship, but she could see that my life was with you now. And how awkward that was, given what happened last time we were all in the same room. I couldn’t have agreed with her more. We said our good-byes—our final good-byes. I said I wouldn’t see her again, and she went on her way.”
It’s like wrapping up one of the conflicts in a bad 1980s miniseries. I call Susan Lucci as the abuser lady, Mrs. Bitch Troll Robinson!
“I was miserable. I wanted to come home to you. But . . . I knew I’d behaved badly. I stayed and finished the bottle, then started on the bourbon. While I was drinking, I remember you saying to me some time ago, ‘If that was my son . . .’ And I got to thinking about Junior and about how Elena and I started. And it made me feel . . . uncomfortable. I’d never thought of it like that before.”
A memory blossoms in my mind—a whispered conversation from when I was half conscious—Christian’s voice: “But seeing her finally put it all in perspective for me. You know . . . with the child. For the first time I felt . . . What we did . . . it was wrong.”
Why does this feel like the end of Endless Love? The 1980s one, by the way.
“I’m sorry,” I mutter.
He frowns. “What for?”
“Being so angry the next day.”
And then Ana said:
And that’s it for this week!