Previously, Eva’s dad came to visit, which of course meant Eva talked about how sexy he was and made it awkward for those of us who are adverse to describing our parents this way.
After talking to Megumi about ending her current relationship with a character even more minor than Megumi herself, Eva invites her over to her apartment after work to meet her dad and go out for dinner.
You know how these things go, though. You invite a friend over to meet your dad, and you run into your mom coming out of the guest bedroom, wearing your clothes…your makeup…freshly showered…and then you realize that your mother, who is currently married to someone else, has just had a quickie with your dad. So then you ask your friend to leave because, you know, awkward situation and all. [Matthew says: I have no idea what the most troubling part of this is.] Then to top off a truly uncomfortable situation, you do this:
“Megumi, would you mind sharing a cab with my mom? I’m sorry to flake on you, but I’m suddenly not feeling well.”
“Oh, sure.” She searched my face and I could see her picking up on my change of mood. “No problem.”
That sounds like the worst cab ride in the history of the world, and I’m sure somewhere out there someone got trapped with Justin Bieber in a cab at least once. [Matthew says: I once heard a woman call in to a radio show to talk about having to sit next to Carrot Top on a plane once. This might top that.]
Finally alone with her father, Eva tells him what’s what.
My dad came after me. “Eva, wait.”
“I don’t want to talk to you right now.”
“Don’t be childish about this.”
“Excuse me?” I rounded on him. “My stepdad pays for this apartment. He wanted me to have a place with great security so I’d be safe from Nathan. [Matthew says: Given that her dad didn’t know about her past sexual assault until a few days ago, this seems like a KIND OF A DICK MOVE?] Were you thinking about that when you were fucking his wife?”
“Watch your mouth. You’re still my daughter.”
“You’re right. And you know what?” I backed up toward the hallway. “I’ve never been ashamed about that until now.”
After a scene like that, you’d think it would take at least another chapter for Eva to work this out with her dad. Maybe even a few chapters if there was ever any evidence that Sylvia Day was concerned about realistic timelines.
All it takes though, is a five second scene with Cary to have Eva decide to go make peace with her dad before he heads back home. Seriously, this is wrapped up in a matter of pages when it was actually one of the few legitimate conflicts I’ve ever seen in this series. [Matthew says: By this point, this series’s only legitimate conflict is that it’s still a series.]
Apparently there are more pressing matters at hand, like the fact that we’ve all forgotten Eva is going to her ex-boyfriend’s music video premier. We’ve also all forgotten that music videos are still important to some people.
Eva informs Brett that Cary is coming to the event, and she’s surprised when he seems less than enthused
“I thought you liked Cary.”
Said no one ever before this moment.
“I do, but not as much as I like having you to myself. How about we compromise and agree that Cary comes to the launch and you come to dinner alone?”
“All right.” I figured it wouldn’t hurt to make the situation easier for Gideon to deal with by picking a restaurant he owned. “How about I make the reservation?”
Or, or, walk with me, Eva just could bring Cary to dinner anyway. Or, walk with me for a moment longer, Eva could just not go to this thing at all.
Eva bumps into Megumi again to further discuss her love life because apparently Megumi’s love life is more of an important piece of the story than Eva’s drama with her parents.
Laughing, I headed back to my cubicle. I had other things to do besides referee someone else’s love life.
Like resolve a very important conflict with your parents? [Matthew says: Like break up with her emotionally abusive boyfriend? Like get the help for her mental health that she seriously needs? Like break up with her boyfriend who murdered someone? For her? I got a billion of these; I could go all day.]
Mark was juggling several accounts at once, with three campaigns rolling into the final stages. Creatives were at work and mock-ups were slowly making their way across his desk. That was my favorite part—seeing all the strategizing come together.
No, I guess figuring out how to advertise blueberry-flavoured coffee is more important. That must be one of the campaigns Eva is referring to considering barely any time has passed since she first started working. I must know what happens with the blueberry coffee damn it! Too many unanswered questions.
By ten o’clock, Mark and I were deep into debating the various approaches to a divorce attorney’s ad campaign. We were trying to find the right mix of sympathy for a difficult time in a person’s life and the most prized qualities of a lawyer—the ability to be cunning and ruthless.
“I’m never going to need one of these,” he said, somewhat out of the blue. [Matthew says: Why the shit is this the one line of dialogue that gets a “somewhat out of the blue” in this book? Has Sylvia Day reread a single conversation she’s written in any of these books?]
“No,” I replied, once my brain caught up to the fact that he was talking about divorce attorneys. “You never will. I’m dying to congratulate Steven at lunch. I’m really so thrilled for you two.”
Mark’s grin exposed his slightly crooked teeth, which I thought were cute. “I’ve never been happier.”
What a weird and unsettling way to drop that into conversation. Given the next line jumps to another scene entirely, why was this even included in this part of the story? To remind us that Mark is getting married? To reassure us that Mark and his future husband don’t think they’ll be getting divorced?
Can you imagine how weird it would be if you were talking to someone about chemotherapy and out of nowhere they were just like, “Oh, I’ll never need that.” It’s just like you’re awkwardly tempting fate for no apparent reason other than to convince the other person you’re talking to of something they probably weren’t even thinking about. I’m sure while they were discussing this campaign strategy, Eva wasn’t like, “Divorce lawyer…Mark is getting married…wonder if he’ll ever need a divorce lawyer.”
Gideon’s sister calls and informs Eva she’ll also be at the music video premier tomorrow.
She also tries to get Eva and Gideon back together, which is sooooo amusing because they’re already back together but nobody knows hee hee. I hope this book isn’t suddenly going to turn into a Parent Trap-esque comedy where everyone is trying to get Gideon and Eva back together in absurd ways until finally they’re both like, “Oh my god we’ve been back together since the beginning of this fucking book.” [Matthew says: You hope it doesn’t? I couldn’t think of anything else that would make this book actually interesting.]
Eva goes to lunch with her boss and his fiance, and I swear the fucking story of how Mark proposed is given more air time than Eva’s parents’ sexploits. More specifically, Eva dealing with her parents’ discretions and the emotional impact it might have on her. I’m not going to include any lines from this scene because why the fuck was this even in the book?
Eva heads home, and reveals some important information:
Starting my period the afternoon before had me riding the edge of irritation and grumpiness, with a dash of exhaustion tossed in for shits and giggles.
This is the most helpful piece of the puzzle that is the timeline of this series. Eva hasn’t been on her period since about chapter 5 of Reflected in You! This was such a crucial bit of plot that Matt and I both included this information in the title of our posts for this chapter. Shit, that was back when we would both write about the same chapter in separate posts. Do any of you remember when that was a thing that we did? Like we actually intentionally spent longer on these pieces of garbage than God intended. [Matthew says: I’m amazed we’ve made it for two years.]
The most important thing, though, is that at the very end of this chapter the cops show up at Eva’s apartment. Yes, this means the highly anticipated return of the renowned Detective Shelley Graves.