Christmas time came and Anderson couldn’t wait for Evelyn to see her gift. He wanted to give it to her before they went down to South Carolina for Christmas with her family. His dad was spending it with Roxie and her family along with Elizabeth. Tonight he was taking her out to her favorite Mexican restaurant and then unveiling the gift he had for her when they got home. He was currently waiting in the living room while she got dressed. Evelyn was now twenty-eight weeks along and getting rounder each day. Their last visit the doctor commented that shifter babies were normally larger than your average human baby. He saw her pale at the idea of having to birth a larger than normal baby. The doctor was quick to say most shifter babies came out on the larger end of average, closer to nine pounds. He didn’t think that helped her at all. After their visit, he took her to get ice cream and promised to not leave her side while she gave birth. They were supposed to start birthing classes come the new year and then she had her baby shower. He was glad he didn’t have to come to that. A bunch of women gushing over baby clothes was not his thing. After Jonah came, he was going to ask her to marry him; he wanted to do one life change at a time. They would also move into their newly renovated home come the new year. He couldn’t wait for Preston to call and say the house was ready. He and Evelyn had been slowly packing their things. His lease on his apartment ended December thirty-first. Not that it mattered. As soon as Evelyn let him mate her, they sold all his furniture and moved his things into her apartment. Things were a little cramped, but they were making it work.
“Evvy,” he called, impatient to get to dinner and then show her his gift.
“I need help!” she called back, and he ran into the bedroom to find her trying to put on shoes. Wisely keeping his thoughts to himself, he bent down and put her flats on her feet.
“I wanted to wear my heels,” she argued, and he shook his head.
“No way. I am not about to watch you trip and fall in heels. You are carrying our child and I want you both to be safe,” he replied helping her to her feet.
“I wanted to look beautiful for you,” she complained and he kissed her on the nose.
“You do look beautiful,” he assured her, stepping back to look her over. She was wearing a bright red dress with a green sash and red ballet flats. She had straightened and curled her dark rich chestnut hair. He ran his fingers through her hair gently and kissed her lips.
“You are the most beautiful woman,” he told her tucking her hand in his elbow. He walked her out of the bedroom and grabbed her jacket.
“You are handsome too,” she replied, putting her arms into the coat he held up.
“Thank you, my love. Come on or we will miss our reservation,” he said ushering her out of the apartment. He wanted to get to dinner fast, then they could come home and he could give her the gift. He’d bought it for her the moment he knew he had to go after her again and never let her out of his sight again.
“What is the rush?” she asked laughing as he bundled her into his car.
“No rush,” he lied getting into the driver’s seat and starting up the car.
“Okay keep your secrets,” she replied, crossing her arms and pretending to be upset. Anderson laughed and took her hand holding it the entire way to the restaurant.
They settled in their booth and Anderson ordered a bowl of queso to share with Evelyn.
“What time are we leaving for your family tomorrow?” he asked and she checked her phone.
“Mom and Dad want everyone there by four so we can get settled and then have dinner,” she replied reading off from a group text.
“How far are they from us?” he asked, pulling up his GPS app on his phone.
“They are about a seven-hour drive, might be longer because I’m going to need to pee more often than usual,” she answered and put her phone away. He tucked his phone away in his pocket wanting to give her his full attention.
“How are you feeling?” He could tell she was wearing out faster these days and almost always found her napping at work during her lunch hour.
“The morning sickness has been gone for a while now. The only thing bothering me these days is how tired I am all the time. Roxie told me she was tired closing in on her third trimester too.” He reached over and patted her hand.
“Anything you need me to do?” He would hate to know there was something he could have been doing to help make her life easier.
“Just keep being you. You’ve done nothing but dote on me since you found out I was pregnant. I love you all the more for it,” she answered and took a bite from her dinner. They passed the rest of dinner talking about her family and some of the family traditions he would be expected to help with.
“We will be decorating the tree as soon as we get down there. My mom said they bought the tree today and have it up and ready for us.” He saw the excitement in her eyes.
“I haven’t decorated a Christmas tree since high school,” he admitted and her face fell.
“Don’t be upset, I am glad to be doing it with you and your family. I know we will be able to make these memories with our baby too.” He couldn’t bear to see the sad look on her face, with his words he saw her eyes light up.
“Here is your check,” the waiter said and Anderson put down a few bills to pay for their meal.
“Ready to head home?” he asked and she nodded. He took her hand and drove her home nervous the entire time. He hoped she’d like the gift he got her and couldn’t stop the nerves.
Walking up to the apartment Anderson kept a tight hold on Evelyn’s hand.
“Are you okay?” she asked peering into his eyes.
“I’m excited for you to open the gift I got you,” he admitted and to his surprise, she leaned up and kissed him.
“Whatever you got me, I will love,” she told him and he gave her a small smile.
“Come on,” he said and pulled her into the apartment. Helping her to sit on the couch he took her coat and his before heading into the bedroom to get her present. He had wrapped it the moment he knew they were living together. Picking up the large gift he walked out to see her sitting with a package on her lap.
“Will you open mine first?” she asked and he saw she looked just as nervous as he felt.
“Okay,” he set his off to the side and took the gift she handed him. Slowly taking the wrapping off he smiled when he saw it was a scrapbook. Opening the book he smiled seeing all the pictures of the two of them through the past few months.
“Evvy this is amazing,” he looked up at her and saw tears in her eyes.
“Yes. Thank you!” He leaned over and kissed her hard on the lips.
“Now you have to open mine,” he said pushing the present closer to her and holding his breath as she tugged the paper off. As she revealed a corner she looked at him.
“Anderson is this?” She looked up with tears in her eyes and he nodded.
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