One With You: Chapter 12
Gideon goes into the office to discuss top-secret information about the ongoing “Oh Shit, We’re Halfway Through The Last Book And We’re Out Of Plot, Oh Shit, Um, Uh, What If Eva’s Mom Is Secretly Someone Else” subplot.
“Tell me you have something.”
Angus leaned forward. “Little more than I had to start with”
Oh shit, that’s not good! We’re two thirds of the way through this book and have very little time to develop this entire subplot from scratch.
Honestly, I’m having a hard time following this brand new subplot, but what we know so far is that Eva Tramell’s mom seems to have stolen the identity of a woman (now known as Monica Dieck) who has a sister-in-law named Lauren Kittrie. Even Gideon isn’t sure why Lauren is relevant information.
More questions without answers, with the biggest issue being whether Lauren had any relevance at all.
But I guess she’s important otherwise there’d be no reason at all to mention her? Now we also know that Lauren was married to someone named Jackson Tramell who died from a shot to the head, but it was never determined if it was a suicide or a homicide. Angus also had a fake IRS agent question Monica Dieck about Lauren. My first question would be why we aren’t asking Monica more questions about how her identity was stolen if she was so goddamn easy to find, since that seems kind of more important than this Lauren person who has absolutely no bearing on this case yet. But obviously she must be important, because – ipso plot hole facto – it makes no sense to care about her yet…
“She questioned Monica Dieck, who said she hasn’t seen her former sister-in many years and to her knowledge, Lauren is deceased. […] When she heard Lauren’s name she went white as a ghost.”
What an exciting development that’s taking place entirely off-screen.
I began to pace. “What the fuck does that mean?”
Your words, book. Not mine.
That scene ends with Angus saying, “Hey, why don’t you just ask Eva’s mom about this?” (surprisingly not as paraphrased as you would think), and Gideon basically admits that this subplot only matters insofar as Eva’s safety is concerned. Hopefully it advances somewhere in the remaining third of the book!
Gideon goes home to his wife and their new puppy, awaiting his stepfather’s arrival for dinner, and he does have a genuinely touching moment where he realizes how much happier he is. Gideon also has another heavily symbolic dream with his dead dad about his character arc.
His arm comes around my shoulders. “You’ve built an empire. I’m proud of you.”
I take a deep breath. I hadn’t realized how badly I’d needed to hear him say that.
“It’ll be a lot of work, keeping this standing. Same with a marriage. Eventually, you’ll have to put one before the other.”
I think about that. Is it true? I shake my head. “We’ll keep it standing together.”
[…] Horrified, I watch as the distant spire at the top [of the Crossfire building] explodes outward
Thankfully, Book 5 Gideon has undergone many character developments since he was Book 1 Gideon. For instance, now he has a magic puppy that wakes him up from nightmares.
I found Lucky climbing over me, low whimpers rumbling in his chest. […]
“You did it again.”
He’d woken me from a nightmare. Who the fuck knew if he was doing it consciously or not? I was grateful either way.
To be fair, Gideon is also going to a therapist now and… actually seems to be getting some good out of it. As much shit as Crossfire gets from us for being a Fifty Shades of Grey knockoff that somehow has an even unhealthier relationship at its center, I have to admit that it’s doing much more work to make its broken, unstable male lead actually work on fixing himself. Technically that’s not that hard to do, since Fifty Shades put approximately zero work into having Christian try to take care of himself, but Crossfire does pretty ok here at times…
“I had nothing in the way of proof [about the viral photo]. I had only my word and she believed me. […]”
“That surprises you.”
“Yes, it-” I paused. “You know, now that I’m talking about this, it really didn’t surprise me.” […]
“You’re talking again and getting a different response from the one you’ve conditioned yourself to expect. It opens things up, doesn’t it?”
“Opens me up, you mean.”
He nodded. “It does. To love and acceptance.”
Although the therapy is still grounded in the bizarro world of Crossfire, so thinking Eva and Gideon’s relationship is crazy unhealthy but not being a comic book villain are still mutually exclusive somehow.
“She’s very jealous. She always has been and I don’t mind. In fact, I like it. But I don’t like her torturing herself with it.”
“Jealousy is rooted in insecurity.”
“Let’s change the word, then. She’s territorial.”
At no point does Dr. Petersen point out that this is still not particularly good.
The next day, Gideon and Eva have Gideon’s stepdad – newly separated from his mother after learning about how she covered up that Gideon was raped as a child – over for dinner. Dinner is served with a side of heavy-handed symbolism:
[My stepdad] Chris had looked at me [like] my father did, in my dreams.
The next day at work, Gideon sees Deanna Johnson (a woman whom Gideon wronged, who is ghostwriting the memoir of Corinne, who is also a woman whom Gideon has wronged – just in case you found this difficult to keep track of). She complains that Gideon promised her an exclusive on the wedding photos in exchange for the info on Brett Kline’s sex tape with Eva, but Gideon reveals that he knew she was the ghostwriter. They disagree about whether this should effect the original deal, but either way she’s been fired as ghostwriter. Gideon offers her a job. I have no fucking clue what any word in this paragraph I just wrote means.
Gideon decides to pop out of the office just to see his wife. Before you go thinking that that actually sounds kind of sweet, don’t forget this is Crossfire:
Heads swiveled as she walked by. Some of those gazes lingered to admire her ass.
What would they think if they knew that deep inside her, she was still creamy with my cum?
Sigh. Goodbye, Google AdSense revenue for this post. Thanks a lot, Gideon’s creamy cum.
Gideon then joins Eva for lunch with Mark, her former boss, and Steven, his boyfriend. They talk about how Mark got offered a job from Ryan Landon. I honestly can’t remember if we’ve ever even met Ryan Landon, but apparently he’s Gideon’s number one arch-nemesis. I have no fucking clue who he is, so this conversation seems… very not important.
It just occurred to me that you could play a drinking game with my Crossfire posts: take a drink every time I admit I have no idea who a character is. I just realized this happens a lot in the oversaturated world of Crossfire!
Eva shrugged. […] “Ryan Landon isn’t a problem that’s going away any time soon. He’ll be around, doing his thing.”
WHEN DID HE EVER DO ANYTHING?
Later, Gideon asks Eva what she thinks of asking his stepfather to be the best man at their wedding.
“After Rio, I was going to ask Arnoldo”
Really? Why Arnoldo? Why Arnoldo after Rio? I think Arnoldo had three lines of dialogue in Rio.
Because this chapter just will not end, Gideon’s mother suddenly rushes into his office, telling him that Corinne (his ex-fiance) is “in pieces over that interview you gave yesterday” and that he needs to talk to her. They have a really long fight about this that basically boils down to Gideon (rightly) saying, “Why?”, and Gideon’s mother doing the one thing Gideon’s mother always does: not get that Gideon and Eva are meant to be together 4ever.
Although there is that one other thing that Gideon’s mother does in these books, which is… really awful…
“You need to make things right,” she said vehemently. “You have to be responsible for the pain you inflict on others. I didn’t raise you thins way. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am.” […]
“You don’t get to lecture me about inflicting pain or feeling disappointed, Mother. […] You knew what was done to me. And you did nothing.”
“We’re not talking about this again.” She slashed her hand through the air.
In case you’re not following, “this” is….
“I was raped,” I said again, my voice calmer. Steadier. “For close to a year, every week. A man you invited into your home fondled me. Sodomized me. Over and over again.”
So… this is intense…
“Don’t.” She breathed harshly, her chest heaving. “Don’t say those ugly, awful things.”
“It happened. Repeatedly. While you were only a few rooms away. He’d be nearly panting with excitement when he showed up. He’d stare at me with this sick gleam in his eyes. And you couldn’t see it. Refused to see it.”
“That’s a lie!” […]
“What’s the lie, Mother? That I was raped? Or that you chose to ignore it?”
“Stop saying that!” she snapped, straightening. “I took you to be examined. I tried to find the proof—”
“Because my word wasn’t enough?”
“You were a disturbed child! You lied about everything. Anything. The most obvious things. […] And I was supposed to just magically divine what was truth and what was a lie?” She leaned forward, taking the offensive. “You were seen by two doctors. You wouldn’t let the one anywhere near you—”
“And have another man touch me there? Can you even grasp how terrifying that thought was to me?”
Yeah. Obviously, I have no jokes to write here.
[T]he desperate hope I’d harbored [was] that one day my mother would love me enough to accept the truth.
That hope was dead.
I cleared my throat. “Let’s end this. I won’t be going to see Corinne. And I won’t apologize for telling the truth.” […]
My mother didn’t move for a long moment.
Then she turned away from me without a word and walked to the door.
You know, if One With You focused more on its already-ongoing plots about the main characters’ relationships with the broken people who made them into broken people in turn, this last book would probably resonate a lot more. But then I remembered that we still have to figure out why the fuck it’s important that Eva’s mom is living under a stolen identity. Can’t wait to return to that instead of the emotional core of this five-book story!
Anyway. That was depressing. Let’s go out on a high note: a reminder that you really should watch Crazy Ex Girlfriend.