Here’s what previously happened in nutshell form:
- Megumi hasn’t been showing up to work, and Eva can’t get in touch with her. Not having Megumi in these chapters has been like a day without sunshine.
- Corinne tried to kill herself, and for some reason Gideon’s mother called him and asked him to come to the hospital. I still have no idea why she is involved in this at all.
- Corrine’s husband attacked Gideon after finding out Corinne was pregnant and lost the baby. I need to come clean and admit that I thought this was revealed last chapter, but Eva actually only finds Corinne miscarried later this chapter. If you give a fuck about the fact that I made this error, feel free to voice your concerns in the comments.
- Gideon sends Eva home, and Eva is pissed. I don’t blame her.
The only way the end of chapter 21 could have been more like a soap opera is if Corinne’s twin sister showed up and was also in love with Gideon.
At work the next day, Megumi still isn’t showing up. When will the madness stop! [Matthew says: If the rest of the series is anything to go by, after an entire book of no Megumi, when she will suddenly show up as though she had been there the whole time.] Eva also hasn’t heard from Gideon since the night before.
And I was angry and hurt about it. The one thing I wasn’t was scared. Gideon was right about marriage fostering a settled feeling. I had a grip on him he’d have to work to break. He couldn’t just disappear or ignore me forever. No matter what, he would have to deal with me at some point. The only question was: When?
Yes, that’s why all people get married, isn’t it? It’s that settled feeling that comes with knowing someone is going to have to get in touch with you because they’re legally bound to you now. It’s not like people who are married ever just up and leave with no explanation. Marriage sure is a panacea for ghosting!
Gideon shows up late that night and tells Eva he’s been in California. Instead of immediately offering an explanation like anyone else would have done, he’s like, “Shhhhhh I’ll explain later.” Um, no, explain now. [Matthew says: Pffft, Ariel, if we’ve learned anything from these books, that’s not what TRUE LOVE is about! Explaining your actions! Honestly!]
But Gideon protests he hasn’t slept in two days, so he crashes quickly. Eva goes through his phone, and what she finds comforts her when actually it should probably alarm her.
The last thing I expected to find were so many pictures of me in his photo album. There were dozens: some of us together taken by paparazzi, others that he’d taken with his phone when I was unaware. Candid shots that afforded me the opportunity to see myself through his eyes.
I stopped worrying. He loved me. Adored me. No man could take the pictures he did of me otherwise, with messy hair and no makeup, doing nothing more interesting than reading something or standing in front of an open refrigerator contemplating what I wanted. Pictures of me sleeping and eating and frowning in concentration … Boring, commonplace things.
Aren’t those exactly the kinds of photographs Nathan was taking of Eva that they found in his apartment? Photos that the cops saw, and immediately were like, “This man is going to kill Eva at some point. If only someone would just murder this guy and basically save the world!”
When has Gideon even been snapping these photos of Eva standing in front of the fridge? Whenever they’re together they’re either in the bath or taking a shower or having sex somewhere else.
Eva sees some phone calls between him and Evil Reporter Deanna, but the protective shield of marriage calms any lingering worries Eva has about all the things.
~Nondescript nightmare and tears.
~Nondescript sex and greedy cunts.
The next morning, Gideon tells Eva they need to talk. He asks if she ever made a sex tape with Brett, which Eva denies. [Matthew says: Not only is sex the only thing ever driving the narrative and motivating the characters in this book, sex that didn’t even happen is the only thing that rushes in to fill the void when there isn’t any actual sex.]
He held my gaze. “When I came back from the hospital the other night, Deanna caught up with me in the lobby. After the situation with Corinne, I knew brushing her off was the wrong approach.”
“I told you that.”
“I know. You were right. So I took her to the bar up the street, bought her a glass of wine, and apologized.”
“You took her out for wine,” I repeated. [Ariel says: Because that’s so much more compelling than the whole sex tape thing, I guess.]
“No, I took her out to tell her I’m sorry for how I treated her. I bought her the wine so we had a reason to be sitting in the damn bar,” he said irritably. “I figured you’d prefer a public place over bringing her up to the apartment, which would have been more convenient and private.”
He was right, and I appreciated his thinking of how I’d react and making accommodations for it. But I was still annoyed that Deanna had snagged a pseudo date with him.
People get wine together at a bar all the time and it’s not a date. Not even a “pseudo date” if there’s clearly no intent there! Deanna snagged a conversation with him, boo freaking hoo, Eva.
Deanna accepts Gideon’s apology, and tells him that
Three-Inches Nickleback Creed Six-Ninths old videographer had set up secret video cameras and caught them having sex on tape, and he planned to auction the tape off now that ‘Golden’ is such a smash hit! Topping the charts! TRL WITH CARSON DAILY PROBZ. [Matthew says: I am no expert, but I feel like this is the opposite of legal.]
So who here hasn’t taken secret photos of Eva? She sure is a magnet for this shit. How many more people need to die before everyone just puts their damn cameras away when Eva’s around?
Blah blah Gideon used lots of power to legally stop the video from being released on the market. But what about the interwebs, you are likely asking in alarm. With the Youtube and the Perez Hilton!
He shook his head, the ends of his inky hair brushing over his shoulders. “I’ve got an IT team dedicated to nothing but looking twenty-four-seven for that file on the Internet, [Matthew says: This sounds like the worst job in the world.] but Yimara won’t make any money giving the footage away. It’s only worth something as an exclusive. [Matthew says: I don’t think anyone in this book understands how the internet works. Aside from search engine optimization.] He’s not going to fuck that up before he exhausts all other options—including selling it to me.”
I just checked my watch, and it seems like this may have broken the record for most quickly introduced and solved problem of all time. This didn’t even warrant a cliffhanger at the end of a chapter. There have been cliffhangers centered around what Eva is going to order for lunch (it’s carbs, always carbs), but not whether or not Gideon was able to stop the sex tape from going viral?
This is the point where they discuss what happened with Corinne, and Gideon explains that she had a miscarriage. Again, if you feel that you’ll never be able to trust my summaries of shitty books ever again, I completely understand.
Later, Eva and Gideon discuss the Gala they’re meant to be going to that night.
“Gideon, if that footage of me and Brett gets out, you don’t want your name linked to mine.”
His body went stiff, and then he turned me around to face him. “Say that again.”
“You heard me. The Cross name has been through enough, don’t you think?” [Matthew says: …has it? I’m struggling to think of any Cross family controversy that has actually gone public in this series.]
“Angel, I’m as close as I’ve ever been to taking you across my knee. Luckily for you, I don’t play rough when I’m mad.”
It’s totally cool and fine if you enjoy spanking in the bedroom, but it really freaks me out when Gideon or Christian threaten to spank Eva/Ana in reaction to something in their daily life. I feel like not even The Master from Pamela has done this (has he, Matt?). [Matthew says: No, but weirdly his sister and female servants have struck her. I have absolutely no idea what to make of that.]
At work, Eva still can’t get in touch with Megumi who continues to be absent from work but somehow more involved in the plot than she ever was when she actually was there.
“Who does Megumi call to say she’s sick?”
“She reports to Daphne for everything. Why?”
“I’m just worried. She hasn’t called me back. I’m wondering if I pissed her off somehow.” I shifted on my feet. “I hate not knowing or being able to help.”
“Well, for what it’s worth, Daphne said she sounds horrible.”
Daphne is fucking in on this, it’s a conspiracy! She’s also part of the Russian Mob! And Nathan’s long lost sister! And Also working for Dr. Terrance what’s-his-face! Fuck you, Daphne, you horrible, back-stabbing bitch.
Before the Gala that night, Eva tells her mother she and Gideon are going together and that he’s asked her father if he could propose to her. Eva’s mother is immediately like, “I didn’t even know you guys were back together, but this is incredible news. Let me start planning your wedding immediately.”
My question to all of you is, what do you think happened to Megumi?