Christian can’t sleep because he’s too busy fretting about Leila and trying to figure out why she might have been suicidal.
Why was Leila suicidal? What possessed her? Her desperate unhappiness resonates with a younger, miserable me. I’m trying to quash my memories, but the anger and desolation of my solitary teen years resurfaces and it won’t go away. It reminds me of my pain and of how I lashed out at everyone during my youth. Suicide crossed my mind often, but I always held back. I resisted for Grace. I knew she’d be devastated. I knew she would blame herself if I took my life, and she’d done so much for me—how could I hurt her like that? And after I met Elena…everything changed.
There is so much about this paragraph that pisses me off. If Leila’s “desperate unhappiness” (which Christian was clearly not privy to) resonates so much with him, why is he wondering why she was suicidal. It’s like asking why someone who hasn’t eaten all day is hungry. Of course Christian would wonder why Leila was so unhappy, but his reaction doesn’t make any sense. He hasn’t seen her or really talked to her in a long time, and he wasn’t there when she tried to kill herself in the apartment even, so how could her unhappiness that he never witnessed resonate so much with him? And then for him to be like, “It resonated so much with me. I used to be suicidal. Why was Leila suicidal?” without connecting any fucking dots is also absurd.
It’s also like Christian doesn’t even care about Leila herself at all, just how it’s bringing up bad memories of the past that are completely unrelated to her.
These sad thoughts prompt Christian to tell us, “I need the piano.” Sad moonlight piano playing is basically a cure-all.
Christian also wishes Ana had signed the contract and that she was here so he could wake her up and “fuck her and watch her sleep.” Well that just sounds rude!
As he sits down at the piano, Christian thinks how Ana will never meet Leila. BUT WE TOTALLY KNOW SHE DOES. Anyway, Christian loses himself in the piano playing, and then the next scene is an erotic nightmare. I was really confused by this because I thought Christian had fallen asleep at the piano, but I guess it was just a really shitty jump. Here’s evidence:
I start to play…and my troubled thoughts recede until it’s just the music and me.
Leila is servicing my cock with her mouth.
Her skilled mouth.
Her hands are tied behind her back.
Her hair braided.
She’s on her knees.
Eyes cast down. Modest. Alluring.
Not seeing me.
And suddenly she’s Ana.
Ana on her knees before me. Naked. Beautiful.
My cock in her mouth.
But Ana’s eyes are on mine.
Her blazing blue eyes see everything.
See me. My soul.
She sees the darkness and the monster beneath.
Her eyes widen in horror and suddenly she disappears.
Shit! I wake with a start, and a painful erection that wanes as soon as I recall Ana’s wounded look in my dream.
What the hell?
I rarely have erotic dreams. Why now? I check my alarm; I’ve beaten it by a few minutes.
That was pretty confusing to read, and I read all of Divergent.
Christian goes for a run to shake off his dreams. I honestly don’t know which happens more in this book, sex or Christian going for a post-nightmare run.
I open the glass doors in the lobby, step outside into a balmy, sunny morning, and carefully scan the street. As I start my run I check down the alleys and in the doorways I pass, and behind the parked cars, to see if Leila is there.
I feel like this is a start to a really awful children’s book. I looked for Leila behind the parked car! But she wasn’t there. I looked for Leila in the sky! But she wasn’t there. I checked for Leila in the doorways! BUT SHE WASN’T THERE. Where has suicidal Leila gone? She was hiding in my house all along! (Seriously, wasn’t she like hiding in a closet or the air vents or something?)
Bland moments featuring Christian at work! Being angry at his assistant! Talking to Ros! Talkin’ bout business deals!
Ana and Christian email a bit as she prepares to fly back to Seattle. Christian frets over whether Ana will write an ‘x’ in her emails to signify that she’s sending him a kiss. Will she? Won’t she? Zzzzzz
While on his lunch break, fretting about Leila’s whereabouts, Christian gets an exciting idea about his upcoming gala. Except he doesn’t tell us what it is even though we presumably should already know what his idea is anyway?
Christian arrives home and at least briefly asks Mrs. Jones how she’s holding up. You know, after Leila for some reason tried to kill herself in front of her. Definitely not the target audience for the situation. I feel like Mrs. Jones probably should have gotten a couple days off work, don’t you? Instead she’s had to hang up Ana’s new clothes and cook for these jackasses all day.
“Two, thanks. And Gail—”
Oh! Maybe he’s going to again thank her for being awesome? This is going to be a big moment of compassion from Christian.
“Can you put the satin sheets on the playroom bed?”
Well this went in quite a different direction.
Christian calls his Human Locator guy and asks for a status update on Leila’s whereabouts because that hasn’t happened a million other times this chapter already.
“No trace?” I can’t believe she could just disappear.
“Nothing. But if she so much as uses an ATM, cashes a check, or logs in to her social media, we’ll find her.”
“We’d like to scour the CCTV footage from around the hospital. It’s going to cost money and take a little longer. Is that acceptable?”
I feel like it’s super frightening that Christian has contacted Leila’s parents and her husband, and the situation is like two kids that snuck out of their house to go to a party and each one told the other’s parents that they were sleeping over the other’s house. Why weren’t Leila’s parents or husband freaked out when this random dude contacted them out of the blue to find Leila? He must have had a super convincing cover story like on Mad Men when Don Draper goes to look for this woman he’d dated for five minutes and starts telling her estranged husband that the wife won a refrigerator.
How I imagine this conversation between Christian’s lackey and Leila’s family went:
“Hi Mr. Reed. Your wife won a refrigerator! Where is she?”
“This sounds completely convincing! She’s with her parents I guess. I’m not at all concerned about her whereabouts, and I’m sure if something was wrong someone would let me know.”
“Everything is cool like the inside of the refrigerator she won. No attempted suicides to see here!”
No one in the hospital contacted her family, and Christian didn’t bother to let them know what happened, I guess. This seems like one of the worst things Christian has done to date, you guys.
Possibly most importantly, I don’t think we fucking have CCTV anywhere in America. If I’m wrong, please let me know in the comments, but I really think this is a distinctly British thing. Didn’t EL James specifically thank people for helping her make the book more American? These people did not deserve her thanks at all because clearly they were useless.
Before Christian can brood over Leila’s disappearance some more or god forbid start playing the piano again, Ana shows up, so sex.
She tastes of heaven and home and fall and Ana.
That is a lot of flavour jam-packed into one person.
Christian gets really moony over Ana and has trouble telling her how much he missed her.
Alas, all is not perfect:
I’ve never seen her in such a short skirt, with so much of her flesh on display, and I’m not sure I approve. She’s for my eyes only.
I think Christian would make a really fantastic orthodox jew. Ana wouldn’t even be able to show men her natural hair as she’d have to wear a wig so only her husband could see her luscious locks. It’s everything Christian ever dreamed of and more.
“I like your skirt. It’s very short.” Too short. “You have great legs.” Stepping out of my shoes, I take off my socks, and without breaking eye contact, she, too, slips off her shoes.
Fuck the shower. I want her now.
FUCK THE PAPERWORK AND THE SHOWER AND SHORT SKIRTS. FUCK ALL THE THINGS CHRISTIAN GREY WANT SEX NOWWWWW!!!!!
I come deep and hard inside her, growling out a garbled version of her name.
I feel like it would take a lot of effort to garble Ana’s name. Like did he just cry out, “ANABLAHBLAHHHHHRGH”?
They shower together after they have sex, which I think was pretty forgiving on the shower’s part given Christian was super dismissive of it before. There, Ana tells Christian she got a job, and things go slightly better than you’d expect for a split second and then return to being exactly how you’d expect for the rest of the chapter:
“I have a job.” She sounds reticent.
Why? Did she think I’d be angry? Of course she’s found a job. Pride swells in my chest. “Congratulations, Miss Steele. Now will you tell me where?” I ask with a smile.
“You don’t know?”
“Why would I know?”
“With your stalking capabilities, I thought you might have—” She stops to study my face.
“Anastasia, I wouldn’t dream of interfering in your career. Unless you ask me to, of course.”
This is great! Let’s all be really proud of Christian for responding to Ana’s announcement like a good person would.
“So you have no idea which company?”
“No. I know there are four publishing companies in Seattle—so I am assuming it’s one of them.”
“SIP,” she announces.
“Oh, the small one, good. Well done.” It’s the company that Ros identified as ripe for takeover. This will be easy.
Christian must have a verrrry different idea of what it means to not interfere with someone’s career. Though my experience is very limited in this area, my feeling is that immediately taking over the company someone just got a job at would be interfering with their career.
Ana also invites Christian to Jose’s photography show on Thursday. Big things happening in the shower! Including Christian’s penis, because they have more sex. Not even EL James wants to talk about it, though, so the scene gets skipped over pretty quickly.
They have dinner together after the shower, and Ana gets a little uncomfortable because she’s in her bathrobe and Mrs. Jones is there. Christian’s reaction to Ana’s discomfort is pretty much my new favourite line in the book:
Baby, I have staff. Get over it.
I just love this line so much. It’s so absurd and so flippant. It also does nothing to address the issue of Ana being self-conscious – the members of staff are still fellow humans that Ana may not want to be around when she’d rather just be alone with her boyfriend, hanging out in her bathrobe as you do.
Christian tells Ana to go get ready in the playroom because they’re going to have more fun together. But first, he has important business to attend to:
I head off to my study to send a quick e-mail to Ros telling her I want to start the process to acquire SIP as soon as possible.
Remember, he is NOT interfering with Ana’s career. Can you imagine what his interference would actually look like if this isn’t it.
Absolutely nothing of interest happens in the playroom. It’s basically just this:
After more garbled cries and a random discussion about what Ana was saying in her sleep (it really does come up out of nowhere and resolve absolutely nothing), the chapter is over. Yay!
Where do you guys think Leila is (you can’t guess Christian’s house even though I think it’s the right answer)? Did you think she was gonna appear in one of the random doorways that Christian checked during his morning run or like hiding in a trashcan around the corner from his apartment?