They were late to dinner with Anderson’s father, but he didn’t mind when they came into the steak house.
“I can see you two were spending some much needed time together. How are you feeling, Evelyn?” he asked once they had put in their dinner orders. She was famished and ready to eat anything in her sight. On the table was complimentary bread, and she buttered her roll and try to eat it without seeming like a pig.
“I am good, the baby was healthy when we went for scans last week,” she replied and Anderson squeezed her thigh under the table.
“How far are you now?”
“I am twenty-two weeks along.”
“You look wonderful, is Anderson being a good doting boyfriend and father?” James asked, and this time she laughed.
“He has been nothing but amazing. We put in an offer for a house near the national park today. Preston Reese has a crew that can help us renovate the place to what we need,” she answered, leaning into Anderson’s warm body.
“Glad to hear it. I will help any way I can get the place ready. I am good at landscaping and painting the house.”
“Thanks, Dad, we appreciate the help. I want to get us in the house and set up as soon as possible. Then we can sit back and relax waiting for the baby to come.”
“Good idea, are you going to have a baby shower?”
“The girls have planned one for the end of January, this way Christmas can go past and everyone has a chance to be ready for another party,” she answered watching James’ face soften.
“I still think of you as Roxie’s little friend, not a twenty-eight-year-old who is mated to my Anderson,” James commented and Evelyn smiled.
“Roxie and I have been friends for almost fifteen years. I feel like you are a second dad to me,” she replied and James reached over to squeeze her hand.
“You are a daughter to me, Evelyn. I’ve watched you grow up and now mated to my son.” She gave him a confused look, how could he know she and Anderson mated?
“I can see the marks Evelyn,” James answered her unasked question and she felt a blush blaze on her cheek.
“Thanks, James,” she whispered and then let Anderson and his dad start to talk about sports. She sat back and watched the two, it was nice to see them getting along again. She knew Anderson was still sore about Meredith, but she was no longer in their lives. Meredith had moved to New York City and hadn’t looked back. Evelyn knew she had cut Roxie out of her life and Roxie’s grandparents had contacted her. Roxie told them she didn’t want a relationship because it would be too close to letting her mother back into her life. She’d never known her mother’s parents and didn’t see the benefit of letting them into her life now that she was married to a very rich and powerful man.
“Evelyn, when will you see your family again?” James asked her.
“We are going to South Carolina for Christmas to see everyone.”
“How are your parents liking Myrtle Beach?”
“They love it. The perfect place to retire they say, although the summers can get a bit crazy,” she shared and James laughed.
“I can see that. Myrtle Beach is a great vacation spot.”
“We’ll go down in the summer to bring the baby to visit,” Anderson put in and she smiled. He knew her parents would want to see their grandson as much as possible.
“Sounds like a good idea. I am sure your parents will want to see the little guy often. He is their first right?” Their waiter came with their meals and Evelyn dove into her grilled chicken with roasted veggies. She’d been worried about putting on too much weight and tried to go for high protein low calorie. Anderson pushed another roll onto her plate while she was cutting up her chicken.
“He is going to be their first, but I know he won’t be their last. I watched how VIctor and Jeanie were together. It wouldn’t surprise me if they announce a pregnancy at Christmas time,” Anderson replied and she gave him a suspicious look.
“Do you know something I don’t?” she asked him and Anderson only gave her a wide-eyed look.
“He probably smelled the change but can’t be certain because he doesn’t know what her scent was before, right?” James commented and Anderson nodded.
“That is impressive, but how come you didn’t notice with me then?” she asked and Anderson gave her an embarrassed look.
“To be honest, I was doing my best to stay away from you. I did notice a change in your scent at the show, but I thought it was the new perfume Preston gave you,” he admitted and she laughed.
“I can’t say I wasn’t doing the same,” she replied and he gave her a questioning look.
“I was very angry with you. I did everything I could not to be around you because you reminded me of something I couldn’t have,” she explained and he gave a nod of understanding.
“But that is all water under the bridge because you two are here together now,” James remarked and she smiled at him.
“Very true and I’ve got everything I could ever want. A baby on the way and a mate,” Anderson added, kissing her temple.
“Good.” They ate their meals and Anderson and James dove back into talking about football and basketball. Evelyn felt the baby kick and jumped, grabbing Anderson’s arm.
“Feel,” she said, placing his hand where the baby had just kicked. They only had to wait a moment before she felt the kick and saw Anderson’s eyes widen.
“That’s your son,” she told him and he laughed pulling her in for a hug.
“Do you want to feel?” she asked James. He nodded and reached over to place his hand where Anderson’s had been. The baby did not disappoint and kicked again. James let out a laugh and clapped his hands.
“That is a strong kick,” he commented and Evelyn smiled. She sat back in her chair and looked at Anderson and his dad, two people very important to her. She couldn’t wait to see what Christmas would bring and in a few months she would be giving birth to their son Jonah.
Let me know what you think!