Spoilers. Try to read that before you read the title of today’s post.
One With You: Chapter 8
Angus reveals that he searched Terrence Lucas’s office last night (hopefully you’re not interested in questions like “how?”) but did not find evidence of how Lucas sexually assaulted Gideon as a child (hopefully you’re not interested in questions like “Like what? Who would keep that? Who would even-“). I honestly can’t say I even begin to understand this subplot. Even Gideon and Angus can’t help but point out that it doesn’t make sense.
I sat back. “The Lucases have as much to lose as I do.”
“They’re culpable, lad. You’re not.”
“It’s never that simple.”
Good lord, no it is not. Nothing ever is with this book.
Let’s move onto something that makes more sense, even if it is just as confusing: Gideon’s friends are trying to throw him a bachelor party. I know. Gideon has friends, apparently.
“The rest of the guys are in agreement with me. We are going to force you to leave New York for a change. […] We are going to Rio.”
The guys? There are guys? Plural?
“Arnoldo, you’re the closest friend I have.”
Gideon is just as confused as I am that he apparently has friends. But it’s Gideon, so he’s more sexist about it.
“Why are you and Arash discussing my personal life?”
“It is what friends do.”
“Girlfriends. You’re grown men.”
Oh my god. Gideon. We get it. You are a manly man whose manly manliness stands tall and strong against threats such as friends caring about you. Fuck them for their unmanly caring.
Gideon’s narration turns towards his discomfort with leaving New York. He reminds the reader about how, before Eva, he would only ever sleep with woman in a hotel room he always kept reserved for that purpose, so he would never have to bring anyone to his home.
It was safe. Impersonal. There was nothing to learn about me there
And then, literally one sentence later, Gideon makes this make absolutely no sense.
Leaving New York meant I wouldn’t get laid, so of course I’d always insisted the guys keep our prowling close to home.
…ok, Gideon, I think you’re maybe just creating unnecessary problems here. You always took women to a hotel to avoid bringing them to your home where they might learn something about you, but if you’re out of town… you’ve, uh, kind of already solved that problem. By definition. It’s ok, Gideon. No need to feel foolish here. I’ve set you free.
Gideon calls Eva and they both complain about how their friends are throwing them bachelor/ette parties.
“I’ve been told our friends plan to keep us apart this weekend for our respective bachelor and bachelorette parties.”
“Oh.” There was a pause. “I was kinda hoping everyone forgot about that.”
Fun fact: Gideon and Eva bonding over not wanting a bachelor/ette party is the first time in One With You where I felt like they have any chemistry. No seriously, can you name one other common interest they have? Because I write chapter-by-chapter summaries of these books and I can’t.
“It’s an odd sort of ritual, isn’t it?” she mused. “Two people commit to each other for life and their friends take them out, get them drunk, and encourage them to be bad one last time.”
This is the most relatable I’ve ever found Eva tbh
Gideon calls Cary, which is always interesting, because you’d assume that Eva’s husband and best friend’s open disdain for each other would cause… I don’t know… more issues? Not that there are many things in this book that I look at and think “Healthy!”, but it’s weird how this one only ever causes tension when we’re in Gideon’s head.
“Where are you planning on taking my wife this weekend?”
He answered so quickly, I knew he’d been braced to hear from me. “You don’t need to know.”
“The hell I don’t.”
“I’m not going to have you controlling her,” Cary said tightly, “with guards cockblocking any dude that comes near her, like you did in Vegas. She’s a big girl. She can handle herself and she deserves to have fun.”
Which sounds like a good reason, but this is Crossfire, so there’s always some extreme circumstance that justifies Gideon’s horrifying behavior. Gideon points out that Eva’s stepbrother who had sexually abused her was still at large then. Good thing there’s always an extra horrifying dude around so we don’t have to think too much about what Gideon’s really like!
Moving on from bachelor parties, Arash shows up at Gideon’s office and fills him in on One With You subplot #47: Gideon’s ex-fiance’s tell-all book about her relationship with Gideon is being ghostwritten by another woman who Gideon slept with and now wants to ruin him! Surprise! It’s a different character who has the exact same motivation! What a twist!
Or, as Eva somewhat inexplicably explains the situation:
“She’d already played hide-the-salami with Gideon once,” Eva went on. “And she really liked the salami. Can’t blame [Deanna] there, either. I told you what a great lay he is.”
…why is Eva suddenly talking like an X-rated version of an old timey radio announcer? Is it just me or has Eva never talked like this before?
Anyway, poor Deanna is torn between hating his guts and wanting to bang him like a drum. Since she can’t do the latter, she’s stuck with the former.”
I looked at her. “Are you done?”
Man, even Gideon doesn’t get why Eva is talking like this right now. I had to check in with Ariel to make sure it wasn’t just me, but we’re both pretty sure that Sylia Day just totally forgot how to write Eva in character this chapter.
Eva comes up with a totally bonkers plan to offer Deanna a job so that she’d be under a confidentiality clause and could no longer ghostwrite the book. Gideon points out that there’s absolutely no reason why Deanna would accept that job, so Eva suggests he “entice” her. Gideon has thoughts on this.
“You’re whoring me out to get what you want.”
Gideon also has zero familiarity with any of the previous books in this series:
“For Christ’s sake, I don’t get upset!”
Eva keeps being really uncharacteristically awful? Was Eva suddenly replaced with an evil twin this chapter? I can’t think of any other way to explain lines like this:
“I wouldn’t whore you out just to stop that book from being published. You’re the fuck of the century. I could get a few grand an hour for you, at least.”
…wait, what do those three sentences have to do with each other? She wouldn’t whore him out to stop a book, but she would for money? Does this mean anything else? Because I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to, but it doesn’t.
This scene ends with Gideon chasing Eva through his office, “grabbing her around the waist and hauling her off her feet”. You might be wondering something like, “wait, in the office? In front of… everyone who works for him?” And yes, you would be exactly right.
I sank my teeth into her shoulder and she squealed, drawing a dozen pairs of eyes our way.
Typical Monday at Crossfire Industries?
The chapter ends with the book realizing it’s halfway through its last entry and it has absolutely no story, so it’s time for an eleventh hour plot twist:
“We’ve kept a lawyer on retainer in Austin,” Angus went on, “to send us any reports of unusual activity with [Eva’s mother’s estranged parents]. They died,” he said bluntly […]
That gave me pause. “Eva doesn’t know. […] I assume [Eva’s mom] doesn’t keep tabs on them.”
“She wrote the obituary that appeared in the local paper.” […]
I read the closing sentence. Harrison and Leah are survived by their daughter, Monica, and two grandchildren. Looking up at Angus, I repeated aloud, “Two grandchildren? Eva has a sibling?”
OH SHIT, MAYBE I’M ONTO SOMETHING WITH MY EVIL TWIN THEORY. That’s a way more likely explanation than inconsistently written voice!
Angus explains that he did more digging, and it actually gets really… uninteresting. Angus explains that he thought the two grandchildren thing was weird and started doing some research. Honestly, this was so confusing that Ariel had to break it all down for me, but the gist of it is: Eva’s mother is not the real Monica Tramell, but it looks like she stole that person’s identity (who is now known as Monica Dieck). Also Maybe The Real Monica has a sister named Lauren. I have no idea why this is important, but the detail was included so obviously it’s gonna be important later. I also have no idea what Eva’s mom’s motive would have been for stealing someone’s identity, so we’re just gonna roll with this and hope it makes sense in the end. Which is also the approach I’m taking with Eva and Gideon being a couple.
Angus shares this information with Gideon in private, without Eva, and they agree not to tell her about it until they can find any answers. I bet that won’t backfire and cause tension in their relationship at all.