“She threw me out!” Anderson yelled at his sister Roxie the next day. He’d come over to visit his niece and nephew and get her opinion.
“You gave her no choice,” Roxie replied with a shrug of her shoulders. He stared at his sister, she didn’t seem sorry for him at all.
“She did too have a choice. We could have continued things the way they were,” he replied. Picking up Bentley he rocked him back and forth as Roxie fed Sophia with a bottle.
“She wants babies and a wedding. You are too chicken shit to give her either,” Roxie shot at him. He gaped at her, she was supposed to be on his side, he was family.
“I am not a chicken shit,” he replied offended his sister thought she could talk to him like that.
“Yes you are. You are letting what happened to your mom keep you from ever being happy. I know Evvy is your mate. The second I saw you two together I knew it, but you are letting the past dictate your future,” she replied with a knowing look. How had she known that?
“How?” he asked and she laughed.
“Simple. Your mother died in childbirth, you think it was your fault. You don’t want that to happen to your mate, so you are refusing to ever have one. I gave birth without complications Anderson, so will Evvy,” she answered.
“That is not it,” he lied, she’d hit the nail on the head. His own mother had died giving birth to him and secretly he feared the same fate for his mate. He had been nervous Roxie’s entire pregnancy and even went on a trip around the time she was to give birth. He didn’t want to be in town if anything went wrong.
“Yes it is, but you are too scared to admit it. You are just going to make yourself miserable. The longer you are away from your one true mate the worse you are going to feel. Why do you think you come home every other weekend to spend time with Evvy? You want to be with her, your tiger demands it of you,” Roxie shared and he shook his head. Ever since she became a dragon shifter she’d been too perceptive for her own good.
“You are too good. Fine, I am scared. I admit it, but it won’t change anything. I am not going to get Evvy pregnant ever. I know it is an irrational fear, but I cannot do anything about it,” he answered sitting down and watching Bentley sleep. He loved his niece and nephew, they were perfect copies of their parents. Bentley had brown hair and hazel eyes like Xander, while Sophia had a dusting of blond hair and bright blue eyes like Roxie.
“She won’t die,” Roxie replied with a shake of her head.
“You don’t know that. My mother was a strong tiger shifter and she still died,” he pointed out. She bobbed her head in agreement, but he could see she disagreed with him.
“When is your next trip?” she asked.
“I leave on Tuesday,” he answered, letting her change the topic to a safer one.
“Where are you going?”
“Texas. Xander wants me to check with his friend Yuri Cho. She has an artist who she thinks would fare better in D.C. than her small town in Texas. I am going down to check on his work, Xander wasn’t convinced he would be a good fit. If he is then Evvy will take on the work of getting his work here,” he explained.
“Evvy is really stressed out, she does so much handling the gallery and my art already. I hope adding another artist won’t overwhelm her. When you had Christoff Turgenev show at the gallery a month ago she was ready to tear her hair out. He was over the top demanding. I told Xander he needed to have a separate position for dealing with the artist. Evvy is handling his day to day operations and the selling of the artwork on display,” she told him and he winced. Around the time he and Evelyn broke up Xander offered him that exact position. He had turned him down because he didn’t want Evelyn to get the wrong idea of him staying in town and committing to her.
“Why hasn’t he?” Anderson asked, and her eyes lit up. Damn, I walked right into that one!
“He said he did, and offered it to you. He has had a hard time finding anyone to fill the spot. He has a very specific idea of who should be in charge of the artists. I personally think he is hoping you will come to your senses and take the position,” she remarked and he shook his head.
“I can’t stay in town Roxie. It would give Evelyn hope that I am willing to settle down,” he replied and she shook her head back at him.
“You are being an idiot. I think you need to talk to dad and see how he handled my mother giving birth to both Elizabeth and me.” She put Sophia onto her shoulder and started to pat her back getting a loud burp out of her.
“That’s my girl,” she cooed and he smiled. Motherhood looked amazing on her. He remembered Meredith being frantic whenever one of his sisters cried.
“You are a natural,” he commented and she blushed.
“Thanks. Xander has been amazing. He gets up in the middle of the night to feed the twins and won’t wake me up. I have the most amazing mate,” she replied and he smiled.
“You two are perfect for each other.”
“And so are you and Evvy,” she pointed out and he had to shake his head. It didn’t matter if he and Evvy were mates. He wouldn’t put a woman in danger by getting her pregnant. He didn’t want to kill another woman.
“Rox?” Xander called, Anderson heard him shut the front door.
“Nursery with Anderson!” she called back. Anderson watched as Xander rushed into the room a look of pure love on his face. He could tell how much Xander cared for his family. He was envious of the man, he was so carefree and didn’t worry about killing Roxie by getting her pregnant.
“Nice to see you. How was your latest trip?” Xander asked taking his son from him.
“Waste of time. The woman was good at imitating other artists, but she didn’t have anything new or original to show,” he answered.
“That is the second time Tessa has sent me the name of a copycat artist. I don’t think she has a good eye when it comes to new artists. You fly out Tuesday to go see Yuri Cho right?” Xander settled in the second rocking chair and snuggled his son. Anderson’s heart clenched in jealousy. He would never admit it out loud, but he always wanted a son of his own. Someone he could play catch with, watch football and baseball with. A boy he could shift with and take on runs in the forest.
“Not too late to beg for forgiveness from Evvy,” Roxie commented.
“I don’t want a mate,” he responded and paced around the room.
“Rox, leave the poor man alone. He gets enough crap from his tiger pining away for Evvy, you don’t need to rub it in,” Xander added. Anderson groaned, leave it to the two of them to constantly point out how wrong he was.
“Thanks so much you two,” he groaned and they laughed.
“Are you staying for dinner?” Roxie asked standing up.
“Yes,” he answered.
“Good, take your niece and I will get dinner started.” She handed him Sophia and left to go down to the kitchen.
“How much longer is she going to harp on Evvy being my mate?” he asked Xander.
“Probably until either you or Evvy have someone else,” Xander answered and Anderson sighed. He tried to move on, but his tiger refused to let him touch another woman when they had Evvy at home.
“I’m sorry man,” Xander said clapping him on the shoulder. Anderson nodded and settled to rock Sophia back to sleep.
Don’t forget to leave your thoughts.