Fifty Shades Freed: Two’s Company, Three’s A Mess

Last time on Fifty Shades Freed, Ana’s stepfather was in a car accident, which was the closest thing to something actually happening since Jack broke into the Grey’s apartment. However, like most things that actually happen in this book, the characters were determined to ignore it, which meant that poor old Charlie/Ray languished in a coma while Ana got a new sports car, a Cartier bracelet, a new dress and had a lovely, lovely birthday party with all her family and friends.

Except Dad. Who was in a coma.

Anyway, he’s just woken up from his coma, which is nice for him. Or not.

 Chapter Nineteen

I skip back to my father’s bed, I feel so lighthearted. His eyes are closed when I reach him, and I immediately worry that he’s slipped back into a coma.

He’s probably just realised that the nitwit skipping around an intensive care unit is related to him. The poor, poor bastard.

Christian wants Ray moved to Seattle so that they can go home. Yes, that happened – he wants a man who’s just come out of a coma moved to another city because he can’t be arsed living out of a suitcase for another few days.

The light is fading, and I shiver as I step out into the cool, crisp evening and hand my key to the parking valet. He’s eyeing my car with lust, and I don’t blame him. Christian puts his arm around me.

“Shall we celebrate?” he asks, as we enter the foyer.

“Celebrate?”

“Your dad.”

I giggle. “Oh, him.”

Why is everyone in this book so unrelentingly fucking horrible? I’m honestly baffled as to how anyone can root for these people. They’re assholes. Every time I think they can’t get more callous, self-centred, greedy, venal, jealous, shallow, stupid and downright cruel, they do. They’re absolutely vile.

God. I’m so tired of them. You don’t even know. I am so fucking tired.

By the way, I’ve reached the part of the book where I haven’t read ahead. At 68% it was starting to look so Sisyphean that I quit and wandered off to read something with sentence structures that didn’t make me feel like I was having a minor stroke. So I’m more or less in the dark about what happens next. I’m guessing – based on the rest of the book – that it’s nothing, but hey ho. Let’s go.

Actually we can probably skip quite a large chunk because they’re just having sex again. Oh no, wait – here’s a thing. It looks like Ana might finally be about to learn how to masturbate! (This is chapter nineteen of book three of the bestselling ‘erotic’ trilogy, need I remind you.)

“Now, Anastasia, I want you to touch yourself.”

Holy cow.

“Start at your throat and work down.”

I hesitate.

Start at your throat? Trust me, unless she’s Linda Lovelace’s character in Deep Throat the happy bits are located a lot further south.

My hands cup my breasts.

“Tease yourself.”

Oh my. I tug gently on my nipples.

“Harder,” Christian urges. He sits immobile between my thighs, just watching me. “Like I would,” he adds.

So ten seconds on each tit, a finger up the cooch and bend over the grand piano for a energetic but amateur five pump finale?

“…I want to see you. See you enjoy your touch.”

Oh fuck. I repeat the process. This is so…erotic.

A brief tip for sex scenes – if you have to tell the reader that something is ‘erotic’, it probably isn’t.

My hands glide down over my belly.

“Lower,” he mouths, and he is carnality personified.

This is why I don’t recap the sex scenes; because of writing like this.

My hands glide down from my knees, skimming my thighs, moving towards my sex. “Come on, Ana. Touch yourself.”

My left hand skims over my sex, and I rub in a slow circle, my mouth an O as I pant.

Unless you have a mirror over the bed (and I wouldn’t put it past you tacky bitches) you can’t see your own face.

“Again,” he whispers.

I groan louder and repeat the move and tip my head back, gasping.

This is torrid stuff; admit it. Reminds me of my last yoga workout – oh wait, no. That was actually enjoyable.

“Again.”

I moan loudly, and Christian inhales sharply. Grabbing my hands, he bends down, running his nose and then his tongue back and forth at the apex of my thighs.

Did you get that? According to the fantastically vague instructions she got about two brief self-fondles in before he grabbed her hands and took over by stuffing his nose up her quim.

Ah, we’re here now – may as well give you the money shot, as it were.

He starts to move his fingers, his hand, up and down, rapidly, assaulting both that sweet spot inside me and my clitoris at the same time. Ah! The feeling is intense – really intense. Pleasure builds and spikes throughout the lower half of my body.

Oh yeah. Do it to me. Do it to me baby. Do it to the lower half of my body. Because we can’t say ‘fuck my pussy’. That would be rude. That would be like, something you’d read in a dirty book or something. Ew.

Christian whispers ‘surrender’ and Ana has one of those magical voice activated orgasms we’ve all come to know and hate.

“I think we should go again. No clothes for you this time.”

“Christ, Ana. Give a man a chance.”

I giggle and he chuckles. “I’m glad Ray’s conscious. Seems all your appetites are back,” he says, not disguising the smile in his voice.

Ray. Remember Ray? Of course not. He just spent the last two chapters on the brink of death.

Ana tells Christian he’s soooooo sweet and he turns pensive for five seconds, prompting her to tell him over and over how great he is.

“You made this weekend so special – in spite of what happened to Ray. Thank you.”

That special weekend when Dad was in a near-fatal car accident. God, you people are dicks. Great bags of cheesy, unwashed dicks.

I stroke his face more, my fingers brushing against his sideburns. His eyes are grey oceans of loss and hurt and pain. I want to climb into his body and hold him. Anything to stop that look. When will he realise he means the world to me? That he’s more than worthy of my love, the love of his parents – his siblings? I have told him over and over, and yet here we are. Christian gives me his lost, abandoned look. Time. It will just take time.

I doubt any amount of time could cure you people of being you. And that’s the problem. You’re not worthy of anything other than being tied in a big sack and dropped off the side of a bridge. Although you are almost worthy of each other. Almost.

Blah. Section break. Christian gets an e-mail from Detective Clark, which is exciting! It’s part of the plot! It’s back! Hurrah – throw a party, hang out the banners! The plot!

Then there’s some other stuff and a line where Taylor says “Let’s all go get coffee and doughnuts,” which sums up the substance of it pretty succinctly.

At four o’clock precisely there’s a knock on the suite door. Taylor ushers in Detective Clark, who looks more bad-tempered than usual. He always seems to look bad-tempered. Perhaps it’s the way his face is set.

Or perhaps he just hates you.

Clark tells Ana that Jack Hyde claims she sexually harassed him when they worked together at SIP.

“That’s not true,” I state calmly. “In fact, it was other way around. He propositioned me in a very aggressive manner, and he was fired.”

Actually he tried to rape you and then disappeared. But nobody decided to call the police on this one because then the Jack storyline would have been resolved and we’d have no plot left for book three. And then book three would never have to exist.

See? Bad writing – it can have far-reaching and dire consequences. Don’t listen to people when they tell you it doesn’t matter. It does.

“Hyde alleges that you fabricated a tale about sexual harassment in order to get him fired. He says that you did this because he refused your advances and because you wanted his job.”

I frown. Holy crap. Jack is even more delusional than I thought.

Almost as delusional as you.

The cops in this book are as rubbish as Christian’s bargain-bucket praetorian guard, by the way. Apparently they’re just about to do a ‘more thorough’ search of Jack’s apartment. Hasn’t he been in custody for the better part of a month by now?

Oh, who fucking cares anymore. It’s not like any of this plotless, droning, structureless gibberish even makes sense. So yeah – Ray gets transferred to Seattle and as Ana leaves the hospital to go to…wait for it….work, she is accosted by a Dr. Greene.

Who the fuck is Dr. Greene, you ask? Well, she’s Ana’s gynecologist, who hasn’t appeared in this book yet.

“Mrs. Grey, how are you? Did you get my message? I called earlier.”

“No.” My scalp prickles.

“Well, I was wondering why you’d cancelled four appointments.”

Four appointments? I gape at her. I’ve missed four appointments? How?

Did you get that?

Words fail me. I’ve missed four appointments?

YES. YOU HAVE MISSED FOUR APPOINTMENTS. Holy shit. How is it possible to be this dense?

Thanks to the author’s delicate sledgehammered touches of foreshadowing, you can probably guess what happens next. Yep – her eggo is preggo. Cue the music from The Omen.

Chapter Twenty

I gape at Dr. Greene, my world collapsing around me. A baby. A baby. I don’t want a baby…not yet. Fuck. And I know deep down that Christian is going to freak.

Nah. He’ll be thrilled. A needy, noisy, helpless person who doesn’t understand language and dribbles all the time – he’s already got you. Two’s company, three’s a fucking party.

My mind is racing. Pregnant? When?

“I take it you’re surprised.”

Only Ana could be surprised by this. Guess what happens if you skip your birth control and raw-dog it all over every available surface in the house, car, yacht, private plane and vacation home?

Incidentally, Dr. Greene is not a doctor Ana picked out for herself, by the way. Dr. Greene was the gynecologist Christian picked out for her and previously, for all his other submissives. I’m guessing Dr. Greene may have performed one or two terminations too many, because this lady has some issues.

There’s a tiny little blip in my belly. Tiny. Wow. I forget my discomfort as I stare dumbfounded at the blip…I am too stunned to say anything. The little blip is a baby. A real honest to goodness baby. Christian’s baby. My baby. Holy cow. A baby.

Zygote, fetus, baby, if you must be sentimental. Whatever your stance I’m sure we can all agree that this child is definitely doomed.

“Congratulations, Mrs. Grey,” she says as I sit up. “We need to make another appointment. I suggest in four weeks’ time. Then we can ascertain the exact age of your baby and set a likely due date.”

Hang on a fucking fancy minute, Doc. Let’s not start talking due dates before ascertaining that your patient wants to be pregnant. She could, for instance, be in an abusive relationship, or be a regular drug or alcohol abuser. She might have mental health issues. Actually, she ticks all three of those boxes. Whatever her choice, she needs plugging into some serious support networks here.

Instead she gets a prescription for folic acid and a leaflet of dos and don’ts.

That must be an interesting leaflet, mustn’t it?

Do: Take your pre-natal vitamins, keep in touch with your primary health-care provider, seek medical attention in case of bleeding, swollen ankles, or changes in vision.

Don’t: Bungee jump, enter drinking contests, smoke, bare-knuckle box, drive recklessly, trip balls, swallow raw eggs, eat your own weight in brie or spend the entire forty weeks on the business end of a giant bong.

I’m gripped suddenly by a creeping cold and a deep sense of foreboding. Christian is going to freak, I know, but how much and how far, I have no idea. His words haunt me. “I’m not ready to share you yet.”

This isn’t going to be nice, is it?

A vision of a little boy with copper coloured hair and bright grey eyes running through the meadow at the new house invades my thoughts, teasing, and tantalising me with possibilities.

Could one of those possibilities maybe include learning the first fucking thing about prepositional phrases? Please? Your phantom child’s eyes are currently scampering merrily through the meadow.

My vision morphs into Christian turning away from me in disgust. I’m fat and awkward, heavy with child. He paces the long hall of mirrors, away from me…

Ana gets back to work and blames her assistant for cancelling her gyne appointments. Because it’s not her own fault for being a big squealing idiot who lurches from one drama to the next with the kind of demented relish usually reserved for college am-dram productions of Oedipus Rex.

And because she’s in her office, guess what time it is? YES! E-MAIL TIME!

As usual it’s total pointless filler and Ana is left alone with her own horrid thoughts.

When will I tell him? Tonight? Maybe after sex? Maybe during sex. No, that might be dangerous for the both of us.

Oh dear. How exactly does she think he’s going to react? – because there is nothing about that line that makes me feel anything but vaguely queasy.

When he’s asleep?

Yeah. That’ll work, Ana. Just whisper “I’m pregnant,” in his ear while he’s unconscious. I almost like Ana at this point. Although the book has taken another one of its depressing turns for the worst, I can always count on her to say something completely moronic and make me laugh.

There are several intensely passive-aggressive pages and Christian finally asks her what’s wrong. So she tells him.

He stills, and very slowly all the colour drains from his face. “What?” he whispers, ashen.

“I’m pregnant.”

His brow furrows with incomprehension. “How?”

This kid is so fucked. I don’t think their combined IQs would reach room temperature.

“Did you forget your shot?”

I just gaze at him, unable to speak. Fuck, he’s mad – really mad.

“Christ, Ana!” He bangs his fist on the table, making me jump, and stands so abruptly he almost knocks the dining chair over. “You have one thing, one thing to remember. Shit! I don’t fucking believe it. How could you be so stupid?”

Have you met your wife?

“I know the timing’s not very good.”

“Not very good!” he shouts. “We’ve known each other five fucking minutes…”

This is perfectly true. However, it might be a little late to raise this point since you got married over a month ago.

“I thought we’d agreed on this!” he shouts.

“I know. We had. I’m sorry.”

He ignores me. “This is why. This is why I like control. So shit like this doesn’t come along and fuck everything up.”

‘Shit like this’. Aw. That’s charming. You should cross stitch that. Make a nice crib bumper for the baby.

“Christian, please don’t shout at me.” Tears start to slip down my face.

“Don’t start with the waterworks now,” he snaps. “Fuck.” He runs a hand through his hair, pulling at it as he does. “You think I’m ready to be a father?”

No. In my book, dearie, you’re ready for a pair of concrete socks and a long walk off the end of a short pier. Seriously – I would love to know what it is about this man that makes some women swoon. He’s a monster. A living nightmare.

His voice catches, and it’s a mixture of rage and panic. And it all becomes clear, the fear and loathing writ large in his eyes – his rage is that of a powerless adolescent. Oh, Fifty, I am so sorry. It’s a shock for me, too.

Which is why it’s perfectly okay for him to refer to his potential child as ‘shit like this’, scream at his wife and accuse her of emotionally manipulating him when she starts crying. This is horrible. Jesus, this is so, so horrible. Fuck you, E.L. James. Fuck you so very much. This isn’t romance. This is sick. This is straight up domestic abuse.

Like most times when everything goes south, Ana thinks about hitting the bottle.

…I remember Blip. Now I can’t drink alcohol. Can I? I must study the dos and don’ts Dr. Greene gave me.

Oh Ana. I know you’re just trying to cheer me up by acting dumb.

My husband has just walked out on me because I’m pregnant, my father has been in a major car accident, and there’s Jack Hyde the nutcase trying to make out that I sexually harassed him. I suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to giggle.

Yeah, your life is just one whacky, zany rom-com right now, isn’t it? God, I’m depressed.

Christian doesn’t come home. Good.

Then he does. And he’s shitfaced steaming stinking drunk. Ana, you picked yourself a real winner here.

He’s giggly drunk and tells her she’s beautiful, which I think is supposed to make the last scene less horrible. It doesn’t work.

“Christian, I think you need some sleep.”

“And so it begins. I’ve heard about this.”

I frown. “Heard about what?”

“Babies mean no sex.”

Because that’s what this is all about – let’s be honest.

He smiles, but his smile changes as he thinks about it, and a haunted expression crosses his face, a look that chills me to the bone.

“Come on, Christian,” I say gently. I hate his expression. It speaks of horrid, ugly memories that no child should see.

Yours will.

Drunk Christian is cute and playful. I’ll take him over mad-as-hell Christian anytime.

That’s a great idea. Daddy can quit work and become a full time alcoholic, then he’ll always be in the mood to play.

I stare at him. He’s so goddamned beautiful, even drunk and snoring. His sculptured lips parted, one arm above his head, ruffling his messy hair, his face relaxed.

He’s pretty. That makes everything better.

She goes to pick up Drunky’s clothes and his BlackBerry falls on the floor. And there’s a text from Mrs. Robinson.

“It was good to see you. I understand now. Don’t fret. You’ll make a wonderful father.”

He won’t.

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One response to “Fifty Shades Freed: Two’s Company, Three’s A Mess

  1. It’s all weird though. In nearly every respect the characters are laughably one-dimensional and unbelievable, yet it seems to be incredibly accurate when depicting two selfish and loathsome people in the throes of a joyless dysfunctional relationship. Given the obvious factor that James is a truly talentless writer, where does all this come from? And why, for that matter, is this represented as some sort of aspirational fantasy?

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