Previously, Christian gave Ana a bit more backstory about his relationship with Elena. Ana is still mad at Christian, but also not. There is a wacky misunderstanding where Christian thinks Ana is talking to herself in the closet, but it turns out she’s just on the phone!
Darker Chapter 3 (part 3):
What I’ll never understand about Fifty Shades (and actually most of the other books we read) is how it manages to have so many things happen and yet nothing at all. We’re bombarded with details about minor characters, events, and emotions, but none of it seems to be driving anything forward. It makes recapping it a strange experience because it’s hard on an initial read to figure out what is actually important and what is just shameless filler.
For instance, the start of this section is Christian waking Ana up from a nap to insistently tell her how beautiful she is. In fact, this whole chapter is just Christian repeatedly telling us how beautiful Ana is. It’s not really adding anything to the story, and it only furthers my belief that their relationship is shallow.
Christian tells Ana how many “boys” are interested in her, but she’s skeptical.
“Trust me. They want you. They want what’s mine.” I tighten my hold on her and she rests her forearms on my shoulders, her hands in my hair. And she studies me with amused tolerance.
“Mine,” I assert.
I don’t actually mind all that much if a character once or twice is like, “I’m so happy that you’re mine.” I get the whole concept of possessing another person is actually really weird when you think about it more deeply, but a lot of times it’s just a kind of sweet way to express that you’re really pleased your person has chosen to be with you. Great, fine. However, the frequency with which Christian expresses this to Ana and the context never sits right with me.
Things start to get heated, and Christian reminds everyone how much he hates condoms. Again.
“Okay,” I acquiesce, but I hear the uncertainty in my voice. “Wait.” I lift her and remove the condom and drop it beside the bed. “I hate those things. I’ve a good mind to call Dr. Greene around to give you a shot.”
At my desk I fire up my computer. One of Andrea’s many virtues is that she keeps my contacts up-to-date and synced across all my devices. I look up Dr. Greene and, sure enough, I have her e-mail address. I’m so over condoms—
Sure. Inconvenience Ana and control what she does with her body just because you are “so over condoms”.
Ana doesn’t seem to mind this and is more skeptical that they’ll be able to get the doctor to head on over. She goes to take a nap while Christian tackles this condom issue.
He wakes her up so she can get ready for the charity even organised by his parents, and Ana says something surprising:
“I missed you in my dreams.”
Her simple, sleepy statement floors me. She is so unpredictable and bewitching.
Yes, what an unpredictable thing to say! It really came out of left field that she had a dream about someone who she has feelings for.
Anyway, tonight is the night of the kegel balls. It’s significantly less hilarious than Ana’s point of view, because in hers she compared the sexiness of the balls to brushing her teeth with Christian’s toothbrush (which she thought was super sexy, and that fact will always be one of my favorite things about that series.)
I’ve known very few women who have had this instant effect on me, but none as instant as Ana … and given her naïveté it surprises me. But she’s had this hold on me since I met her.
I don’t really think ‘instant’ has a sliding scale. “Few women had an instant effect on me, but Ana’s was the instantiest of them all!”
As Christian inserts the balls, he has a revelation about their relationship:
She moans and I want to tell her to be quiet and to stay still, but that’s not the relationship we have anymore.
We’re doing things her way.
Um, I’m sorry, what? He is still bossing her around constantly, but in this one instance he’s keeping his mouth shut, so they’re doing things her way? Barf.
He also finds a pair of earrings that he was going to give Ana before they broke up, and she accepts the gift graciously.
She can play nice. I grin as I relax, knowing I won’t have to fight to get her to keep them.
She can play nice. This guy.
Later that night they head to the party, and Christian has his first of two pointless flashbacks. In this one, he’s…putting on a bow tie with Elena. I learn nothing new about their relationship.
At the party, Christian’s family rave about how perfect Ana is. Christian raves about how well-behaved she is.
Ana is impressive— the perfect date. Gracious, elegant, and sweet, she listens attentively to anecdotes, she asks intelligent questions, and I love the way she defers to me.
Yes. I especially love that. It’s novel and unexpected.
This scene really grossed me out. Why is it a surprise she asks intelligent questions? Why is it a surprise and a delight that she defers to him?
Even Christian’s grandparents love Ana! Which leads to Christians flashback…about apple tree grafting. Again, I am utterly baffled why this flashback happens now and what I have learned about Christian. However, what it does give me is a really weird way to describe nodding.
I say yes with my head.
CALL A SPOON A SPOON. We do not have to get fancy about nodding.
Besides Christian getting angry when people dare look in Ana’s direction, we get some amazing “business” talk between Christian and another man at the party.
“Democratizing tech is not what I’d expect from someone like you.” Lance laughs.
Dude. You don’t know me very well.
This is it. This is the moment I feel blessed we got Christian’s POV after all. The moment where Christian just turns into a sassy bro. Amazing!
My section of the chapter ends with Ana and Christian going to look at auction prizes together. I don’t care. I’m still thinking, Dude. You don’t know me very well.