Previously, our heroes engaged in anal play (do you like my foreshadowing here?). This is actually an important thing to remember before reading on, because the first part of this chapter is just Eva angsting about this. The second half is well… let’s just say this is the chapter where the book just becomes a parody of itself. “It was already a parody of itself,” you say? Yeah, I thought so too, but new, creepy heights have been reached. Also Matt’s going to have a field day comparing all of the marriage stuff to Pamela/the Master. Forced marriages never go out of style, basically. [Matthew says: Because if there’s anything I wanted more of in my life, it would be talking about Pamela.]
Gideon seems distant, and Eva frets that she’s pushed him too far even though he had “the orgasm of his life”. [Matthew says: I mean, even if he liked it, she pushed his sexual boundaries without asking first, so, uh, you know. That would do it.] Even though Gideon tells Eva everything is fine, and even though, “He made me feel safe and accepted, even though he was in his work persona and I wasn’t at my best, which reflected on him.” She still worries she’s fucked everything up between them.
First of all, I don’t get why she’s so grateful that he isn’t acting ashamed of her for not looking perfect? I’m never grateful to my boyfriend when we’re in public and I don’t have makeup on and he doesn’t try to pretend he doesn’t know me.
I just wished he weren’t so quiet. It made me worry. And it totally made me doubt my decision to push him after he’d told me to stop more than once. What the hell did I know about what he needed to get better?
I mean, yes, you probably should doubt that decision, that’s a no-brainer, Eva, but I really don’t believe your relationship with Gideon is over because you stuck your finger in his butt. [Matthew says: PRO RELATIONSHIP ADVICE, FROM BBGT TO YOU.] He really would have forced Eva to stop if it was that awful for him because when has Gideon had a problem being in control of a situation with Eva?
Eva continues to worry that she’s no longer Gideon’s angel but his devil even though he tells her he loves her and continues to assure her nothing is wrong. But at dinner, Eva can’t take the distance anymore!
The emotional gulf between us was growing. I couldn’t reach across it.
I pushed my plate away once I’d cleared it and realized Gideon had hardly eaten at all. He’d just forked his food around and helped me drain the bottle of wine.
He didn’t even eat his food you guys! [Matthew says: This is serious shit, based on all the post-Fifty Shades erotica we’ve read! Not that we’ve ever figured out why.] This emotional gulf that started an hour ago is too much to bear, so Eva has to run into the ocean. Yes, you read that correctly.
Taking a deep breath, I told him, “I’m sorry. I should’ve … I didn’t …” I swallowed hard. “I’m sorry, baby,” I whispered.
Shoving back from the table with a loud screech of the chair legs across the tile, I hurried away from the patio.
My feet hit the warm sand and I ran toward the ocean, pulling my dress off [Matthew says: Oh, good, no one was taking their clothes off for no reason yet and I was worried this book took an unfamiliar new direction.] and colliding with water that felt as hot as a bath. It was shallow for several feet, then dropped off suddenly, plunging me in below my head. I bent my knees and sank, grateful to be submerged and hidden as I cried.
Can you imagine if you could do this after any awkward situation? “Oh my god, I overcooked the chicken! LET ME JUST GO RUN INTO THE OCEAN FOR A SEC.” The only time a scene like this worked was in Breaking Bad when Skyler just can’t take Walt’s bullshit anymore and just walks into the pool.
But this is like, Gideon has been kind of quiet and contemplative for the past few hours and Eva, who is always talking about how they need to talk things out, just runs away into…the ocean.
“Angel.” Gideon growled and took my mouth, kissing me hard and furious as he stalked out of the water and up the beach. He took me to the cabana and dropped me onto the chaise, covering me with his body before I fully caught my breath.
I was still dizzy when he groaned and said, “Marry me.”
And this is the part where the rest of the chapter consists of Gideon forcing Eva to marry him. You’ve been warned.
He’d been agonizing over popping the question, not because he was leaving me.
“Tomorrow,” he bit out, rubbing his cheek against mine. The first tingle of stubble roughened his jaw, the sensation jolting me into a deeper awareness of where we were and what he wanted.
“I—” My mind stuttered to a halt again.
“The word is yes, Eva.” He pushed up and stared down at me fiercely. “Real simple—yes.”
Is it that simple, Gideon? You’ve been dating a few months, the last time you talked about this Eva seemed reluctant at best, and you can’t even sleep in the same bed together yet because you’re trying to work through the issues that cause you to attack her in your sleep. So maybe not such a simple answer.
But wait, you ask, why does Gideon want to get married so damn badly? There has got to be some really compelling reason. Like maybe this has suddenly become The Proposal where Sandra Bullock has to marry Ryan Reynolds effective immediately because she needs a green card?
I swallowed hard. “We can’t get married tomorrow.”
“We can,” he said emphatically, “and we will. I need it, Eva. I need the vows, the legality … I’m going crazy without them.”
Isn’t this pretty much the same reason Christian got Ana to marry him so quickly? [Matthew says: This is the same reason why they got married in PAMELA. Look at all the progress we’ve made since 1740!] All of our issues will just completely melt away once we take those vows, baby, I swear. I’m so scared you’re going to leave me, but if you marry me, my confidence in our relationship will surely change all of my obnoxious, controlling behaviour, so let’s give this crazy thing a chance!
“It’s too soon,” I protested.
“You can say that to me after the flight over?” he snapped. “You fucking own me, Eva. I’ll be damned if I don’t own you back.”
You stick your finger up a guy’s butt one time and then you have to marry him, that’s the rule, Eva. You knew what you were getting yourself into.
“I can’t breathe,” I gasped, inexplicably panicked.
Gideon rolled, pulling me on top of him, his arms banding around me. Possessing me. “You want this,” he insisted. “You love me.”
I imagine this scene with Gideon’s eyes swirling hypnotically and Eva slowly repeating his words as she’s very obviously brainwashed by a psychopath.
When Eva tells Gideon he’s rushing into this, he gets pretty upset at this outrageous accusation.
“You think I’d ask you this on the fly? [Matthew says: …yes?] For God’s sake, Eva, you know me better than that. I’ve been planning this for weeks. It’s all I’ve thought about.”
I think when the time it took you to consider proposing to someone is about half the time of your entire relationship that could definitely be considered rushing in.
Gideon insists that they can get married again for their friends, family and the paparazzi, but that he can’t wait months to plan a wedding. [Matthew says: Even though he just said he’s been planning this for weeks.]
If you thought he couldn’t start sounding even more fucking insane, I haven’t even gotten fully started yet.
I stared at him, not knowing what to say. His urgency was both romantic and terrifying. [Matthew says: What about when Eva starts sounding even more fucking insane?]
“I asked your dad,” he went on, shocking me all over again. “He didn’t have any—” [Ariel says: He didn’t have any what?? New emails? Groceries? Ways to stop me from forcing his daughter to marry me? It literally could have been anything, and now we may never know.]
“When he was in town. I had an opportunity and I took it.”
For some reason, that hurt. “He didn’t tell me.” [Matthew says: I mean… that sort of actually makes sense? “Hey, your boyfriend asked me if he could propose to you! I said yes!” sort of undermines things a little bit.]
“I told him not to. Told him it wasn’t going to happen right away. That I was still working on getting you back. I recorded it, so you can listen to the conversation if you don’t believe me.”
I blinked down at him. “You recorded it?” I repeated.
“I wasn’t leaving anything to chance,” he said unapologetically.
“You told him it wouldn’t be right away. You lied to him.”
His smile was razor sharp. “I didn’t lie. It’s been a few days.”
“Oh my God. You’re crazy.”
How could Eva’s dad have possibly given his blessing to this person who is clearly out of his fucking mind? He recorded the conversation? Eva could very easily find out whether or not Gideon was telling the truth about this by asking her father directly. And I can’t decide if it’s weirder if Eva’s dad did or didn’t know he was being recorded. If he didn’t, it’s insanely invasive. If he did know, how the fuck did that conversation go down?
Gideon: I have a really important question for you, but can I please record the conversation? I promise it won’t be awkward at all, and I don’t want it to impact your answer. But I’m not leaving anything to chance.
Eva’s Dad: …Leaving what to chance?
Eva’s Dad: Sure, I guess you can record me if it makes you go away faster.
Well, Eva’s got no other real argument, so it looks like they’re getting married!
“I’m not giving you any options here,” he said decisively, twisting up and standing with me cradled in his arms. “We’re doing this, Eva. Enjoy your last remaining hours as a single woman.”
He immediately followed this by miming a slicing motion against his throat.
But the fun doesn’t stop there!
I panted for breath, boneless and tired from his unrelenting demands. He’d woken me twice before, taking me with skilled precision, imprinting onto my brain and my body that I belonged to him. That I was his and he could do whatever he wanted to me.
It made me so hot.
“Umm …” He purred, sliding his cock deep. “You’re so creamy with my cum. I love the way you feel when I’ve been at you all night. A lifetime of this, Eva. I’ll never stop.”
The “creamy with my cum” line initially distracted from me from the creepy sentence above (that I’ve bolded so you don’t make the same mistake of missing how fucked up it is). It’s really sad when you almost miss something so alarming because you’re vaguely impressed by the alliteration of “creamy cum” while also struggling not to barf. [Matthew says: Honestly, I’m just thrilled Day finally found a new creepy thing to write that wasn’t the umpteenth “greedy cunt”.]
The next morning, Eva has been brainwashed thoroughly enough that she’s excited about getting married today. That is, until she sees that Gideon’s given her a prenup to sign. She figures it’s the usual stuff like oh if we get divorced you can’t have Angus, but it’s actually fucking insane.
Gideon’s first stipulation was that I take the Cross name as my own. I could keep Tramell as an additional middle name, but with no hyphenation as a surname. Eva Cross—it was nonnegotiable. And so very like him. My domineering lover made no apologies for his caveman tendencies.
What cavemen were concerned about taking last names? What the fuck kind of history classes has Eva been enrolled in in the past?
His second stipulation was that I accept ten million from him upon the wedding, doubling my personal estate just for saying I do. Every year thereafter, he gave me more. I would receive bonuses for each child we had together, be paid for going to couples therapy with him. I agreed to counseling and mediation in the event of a divorce. I agreed to share a residence with him, bimonthly vacations, date nights …
Strangely enough, Eva is less concerned about this than she would have been by a normal prenup. She’s like, “Awww he is protecting his heart and doesn’t want me 2 leave him <3333333”
The prenup was designed to protect his heart, to bind me and bribe me to stay with him no matter what. He was giving everything he had.
[Matthew says: The women in these novels never seem to notice that so do they.]
She signs but only on the condition that she can change her name to include her father’s last name as well.
“I do have one revision.”
“You just did. The name issue.”
“Nonnegotiable,” he said flatly, with an empathic swipe of his hand for good measure.
I arched a brow. “Don’t be a fucking Neanderthal. I want to take my dad’s name, too. He’s wanted that and it’s bothered him my whole life. This is my chance to fix it.”
“So, Eva Lauren Reyes Cross?”
“Eva Lauren Tramell Reyes Cross.”
“That’s a mouthful, angel,” he drawled, “but do what makes you happy. That’s all I want.”
Except that’s a massive fucking lie because you just said you wouldn’t let her keep her last name if that’s what she wanted. Didn’t Christian do the same thing to Ana? I remember him marching into her office furious that she was still signing her emails with Anastasia Steele and not Grey. [Matthew says: If there’s a silver lining to all of this, at least the name isn’t “Albus Severus Potter”. NO I WILL NOT LET THAT GO.]
They get married and try to figure out what they’re going to tell their friends and family back home, and Gideon suggests they just say they’re engaged, so I guess that’s the plan.
Please tell me all of your feelings about this chapter because I have so many angry feelings of anger.