In Fifty Shades Darker, Ana learns that Christian Grey’s birthday falls on June 18. Quite a lot happens during this section of the second book of the trilogy, but in honor of the mercurial one’s special day, I chose to create an illo depicting the brief moment when Ana chose to give Christian one of his gifts a bit early–but on the stipulation that he is not to open it until his actual birthday! Although she gave him several gifts, the simple, small black box held a very important and poignant significance.
What do you get for the man who has everything (or that can get anything whenever the mood strikes?) Ana didn’t have a clue what to get Christian for his birthday. Even though her bank account said otherwise (thanks to one Mr. Grey) she still behaved as if she was on a shoestring budget. So she got creative with his gift, and ends up choosing an inexpensive tourist trinket that seems simple on first glance. But what it symbolized was representing the most valuable and precious gift Christian has ever been given.
By giving him his birthday gift early–before her initial meeting with Dr. Flynn, it also made more of a statement and had much more impact when Christian finally opened the box. It showed him that Ana had already agreed to be his wife and truly be his, even before potentially learning every facet of his past. (A past which Christian was hesitant to completely reveal to Ana, worrying it would lead her to run, and leave him forever.)
He was used to submissive partners that would quickly comply with his every order or whim. But Ana constantly challenged and questioned his authority. It was a new experience for him. Although surprising at first, he grew to enjoy it even though at times it caused him great frustration, occasionally angered him and even triggered an intense fear of abandonment. His growing attachment to Ana slowly caused changes and emotional growth in Christian. This also lead to changes in the dynamic of their relationship.
After meeting Ana and the journey they took together as they got to know each other (even though it occurred over a very short time) everything he thought he required in a relationship, was in reality the opposite of what he ended up yearning for with Ana.
So, it is interesting to note that back at the beginning when Christian and Ana were negotiating the terms of the contract, the majority of it pertained to things that Ana would agree to abide by and carry out for Christian. At one point, she asked what she would get out of the whole thing, and he simply answered, “Me.” It’s ironic that in the end, Christian didn’t care about any of the contract and its stipulations, and all he really wanted was Ana to be his and marry him. In effect, the terms had completely switched positions! Christian only wanted Ana, plain and simple.
But, even though the two of them never came to an agreement on the contract outlining the terms of their relationship, Christian and Ana did end up signing a contract after all…a marriage contract! 😉