Darker Chapter 2 (Part 2):
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
When they make it to Anastasia’s apartment (that she shares with her college roommate Kate, who, wherever she is, better be thankful that she isn’t in the apartment for any of what’s about to happen), Christian notices that Ana’s nervous.
She clasps her hands together, seemingly at a loss and looking a little apprehensive. Do I still make her nervous? This woman can bring me to my knees, and she’s the one who’s nervous?
idk maybe constantly criticizing her and telling her she should be spanked might have something to do with that?
They start fooling around just a little bit (after Christian asks if Ana’s eaten yet, of course, because Christian Grey is a good Italian mom), but Christian pulls away when Ana moves to touch him. Things get a little more awkward when Ana admits she stopped taking her birth control after they broke up. In retrospect, it was super obvious that this story was going to end with Ana getting pregnant because she just forgot about birth control. A legit theme of this story is Ana forgetting she has agency. Sexy!
To the book’s credit, E L Jame’s terrifying experiment in trying to put us in Christian Grey’s head sometimes doesn’t result in a paranoid terrorscape. At times, he actually does manage to sound both kinda darkly seductive and like he cares about improving what he and Ana have, narrating that he “was serious when I said she’d have to beg” because “she has to vocalize her feelings, her needs, and desires” and because “I want to learn what makes her happy.”
These moment never last long though, because Christian Grey’s default setting is overly dramatic manchild:
This evening is not going as planned. Maybe it was too much to hope. How can she be with a fucked-up asshole who can’t bear to be touched? And how can I be with someone who forgets to take their damned pill? I hate condoms.
Christ. Maybe we are incompatible.
Jesus Christ, Christian, you just hauled ass from “she doesn’t take her pill” to “how could I ever be with her” to “I HATE CONDOMSSS!!!!11!!1″ to “perhaps it was never meant to be“. Ya made the shitty dude Kessel Run in twelve parsecs.
Speaking of Star Wars, you know how basically every time there’s a new one, a bunch of people get mad about how they changed the way the Force works or some shit and it totes ruined everything that was sacred for them? “Matthew, how the fuck is that relevant?” Yeah, guess what? Darker pulls one of those on one of the most quoted parts of Fifty Shades:
“Besides…anticipation is the key to seduction, and right now I’m really into delayed gratification.” Especially with no contraception.
She looks a little skeptical.
Yes, I know. I just made that up.
I love how much of the rewrite from Christian Grey’s perspective just confirms that Christian Grey is full of shit.
They decide to go grocery shopping so they can cook dinner. Darker reveals that Christian used the opportunity to duck out to the liquor store to also stop at a convenience store and pick up condoms. Finally, that plot hole has an answer. Your sleepless nights are over. Far and away, though, the best part of the whole sequence is when Christian and Ana are waiting in line behind a woman and her two children and Christian can’t even right now.
I stand in line beside her. There’s a woman in front of us, trying to wrangle two small children, one of whom is whining incessantly.
Jesus. How do people do this? […] “Do you have anything to drink?” I ask, because after this real-life experience, I’m going to need alcohol.
Christian Grey: goes to a grocery store once, needs a drink. Sexy!
Then they get back from the grocery store and start cooking and obviously this is all gold from Christian’s perspective. Here’s Christian on vegetables:
She places a chopping board and some red peppers in front me.
What the hell am I supposed to do with these? They are such a weird shape.
Here’s Christian trying to use a knife like a normal human person:
I continue to slice with care. This blade is evil.
Here’s Christian on Ana brushing against him in the kitchen:
My cock approves, big-time.
Eventually, all the bumping into each other is just too sexy for Christian Grey.
With a twist, I switch off the gas for the wok. “I think we’ll eat later.” Because right now I’m going to fuck your brains out. “Put the chicken in the fridge.”
OBVIOUSLY this is one of the funniest lines in Fifty Shades, but can we also appreciate how even in-universe it’s clearly the most awkward thing ever for the person who’s supposed to be seduced by this?
Swallowing hard, she picks up the bowl of diced chicken, rather clumsily places a plate over the top, and puts the whole thing in the fridge.
They move to the bedroom, where Christian quickly reminds us he’s a terrifying person who can’t handle rejection…
As I glance through the window to the street below, I realize this is indeed the room I stared at during my silent vigils, from my stalker’s hideout.
…before we get into some kinda non-Euclidean foreplay where Christian is somehow both facing Ana and also ogling her ass.
I kiss her throat one final time and kneel down in front of her, taking her by surprise. I push my thumbs into the waistband of her jeans and her panties and slowly pull them down. Sitting back on my knees, I admire her long legs and delectable ass as she steps out of her shoes and pants.
“Maybe Ana just turned around while taking off her pants, Matthew.” “MAYBE THE PATRIARCHY DEMANDS A SACRIFICE, HYPOTHETICAL PERSON I AM ARGUING WITH.”
Christian’s pants come off too.
Ah! My cock has some room.
Christian gets it in.
So tight. So right.
Christian gets weird.
She feels like home. She is home.
Christian should scare the bejesus out of every woman reading this book but clearly that didn’t quite go that way.
No one will take her away from me, and I’ll do everything in my power to keep her.
Seriously, what the fuck
She’s mine once more.
After sex, Ana thanks Christian for the iPad he gave her yesterday.
“What’s your favorite song on there?”
“Now, that would be telling,” I tease her. I think it might be the Coldplay, because it’s the most apt.
What’s the apt part? Which Coldplay song bears the most in common with the plot of the first Fifty Shades of Grey novel? Is it just “apt” because the band’s name is “Coldplay” and “cold” would be an apt description of Christian’s ability to connect with other people? Does Christian Grey think the band is called “the Coldplay”? I have several questions.
I’m starving, and it’s not a condition I tolerate well. “Come cook me some food, wench. I’m famished.” I sit up and pull her onto my lap.
“Wench?” she repeats, giggling.
“Wench. Food. Now. Please,” I order, like the caveman I am
much sexy. so testosterone. wow.
They get out of bed. Christian texts Taylor about preparing for an even his parents are hosting tomorrow, and Ana finishes cooking up the stir fry
We’re having such a chill time. What do you do to chill out? she asked me during the interview. Well, Ana, this is what I do, eat chicken stir-fry with you while we’re sitting on the floor.
This could not possibly have been true during that interview.
Christian continues to explain that he owns Ana now and that there is no escape for her. I mean, she asks him if he’d buy her company again if she got a new job and he said yes. Same difference.
“You’re not thinking of leaving, are you?” Jesus, I’m about to spend a small fortune on acquiring this firm and she’s talking about leaving! […] “Yes, I will buy that company, too.” This could get expensive.
I think you have bigger problems, dude.
Anyway, Darker gets to the scene in Fifty Shades Darker that, when we read this five years ago, made me post a picture of myself making this face on the internet:
It’s time for the ice cream scene.
“We have ice cream. Vanilla,” she adds, and smiles as if she’s privy to some inside joke.
IT IS YOUR INSIDE JOKE.
“Really? I think we could do something with that.” This is going to be fun. I rise to my feet in anticipation of what’s to come and who’s to come.
Both of us.
Her. Me. Both of us. Ana and Christian. Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Ana, my girlfriend. Me, billionaire CEO. Is this clear enough yet? I don’t know if my cum joke is specific enough yet.
It’s playtime, baby.
“I hope you’re warm. I’m going to cool you down with this.” […] Grabbing the ice cream and spoon, I straddle her again. She bites her lip as I lift the lid and try to scoop out a spoonful. “Hmm, it’s still quite hard.”
Ok, how much stupider could the sexy ice cream scene possibly get from Christian’s perspective anyway?
I contemplate smearing some of this on me and inserting myself into her mouth. But as I taste how cold it is, I fear it might have a negative, shriveling effect on my body.
That would be inconvenient.
WOW OK MORE THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD
I devour what’s left of the ice cream in her navel using my tongue. […] I dribble the remaining vanilla onto her swollen clitoris. She cries out and tenses her legs.
“Hush now.” Leaning down, I slowly lick and suck her clean.
Ben. And. Jerry’s. And. Ana.
I’m legitimately surprised he didn’t think that sentence and then immediately get jealous of Ben and Jerry.
It’s also worth noting that somehow the scene where Christian Grey licks ice cream off of Ana becomes more aggressive from his perspective. As soon as I wrote that sentence, I don’t know why I said “somehow”. Still, E L James doesn’t make great word choices in this rewrite:
- each nipple hardens under the cold assault
- [I] continue my lascivious invasion
The chapter ends with them lying “in a sticky, sugary, panting mess”. They admit to each other that their feelings for each other frighten them (lol, just wait, you two). Christian asks Ana if she’d go to his parents’ summer charity event tomorrow, which he realizes is “a real date”, and a big deal for him.
I want her happy.
Doesn’t E L James have editors now?