Christmas day came and Anderson awoke to a banging on the bedroom door they had given him and Evelyn.
“Evvy get up!” Luke’s voice floated through the door and Anderson turned to see Evelyn still fast asleep. Getting out of bed, he padded over to the door and opened it wearing nothing but boxers to keep Luke from waking Evvy. They’d been up late, and then she’d spent a good portion of the night dealing with heartburn.
“Luke,” he greeted his future brother-in-law. Luke gave him a surprised look and he could feel him looking over.
“You and Evvy are needed downstairs in fifteen minutes,’ Luke informed him.
“Evvy had a rough night, is there any way I can let her sleep for another thirty minutes?” he asked and Luke shrugged.
“I think you’ll have to ask Mom and Dad,” Luke replied and Anderson nodded. He shut the door, grabbed a pair of pajama bottoms and a shirt. Then he went down to the kitchen to let Julia know Evelyn needed more sleep.
“Julia,” he called, walking into the kitchen and stopping short when he saw a large crowd of people standing in the kitchen.
“Anderson, is Evvy coming down?” Julia asked, and he shook his head.
“We were up late because of the service and then she had bad heartburn. I think she’s gotten about four hours of sleep,” he answered and Julia frowned.
“We will let her sleep then. I remember being pregnant with her brothers and they killed me. I had the worst heartburn all throughout my third trimester. Evelyn was such an easy pregnancy compared to them,” she shared and he nodded his understanding.
“Thanks for understanding. Is there anything you need me to do?” he asked, feeling uncomfortable with all the stares.
“Anderson this is Evelyn’s Aunt Lucinda, Uncle Ray, their two kids Eddie and Joshua.” She pointed to a woman who looked exactly like her and Ray was a portly man, deep-set brown eyes with a walrus mustache, his dark hair had turned gray. Eddie and Joshua weren’t as tall as Anderson and looked to be in their teens.
“Over here is Aunt Yevette and Uncle Milo with their kids, Kelly and Nancy.’ Yevette looked like Harold with her light brown hair and blue eyes. Milo was a thin man, tall like Anderson and if Anderson’s sense of smell was correct he was a leopard shifter. Kelly and Nancy were exact replicas of Yevette and both were in their teens.
“Harold and I are both the oldest in our families with a six-year age gap between us and our younger sibling,” Julia explained and he smiled.
“I am six years older than my sister Roxie, so I understand perfectly. It is nice to meet everyone. If you don’t mind I am going to get dressed and then I can help you with anything you need,” he said and turned tail to escape back to the room he and Evelyn were sharing.
“Anderson?” Evelyn’s voice was laced with sleepiness and he looked over at the bed to see her half-awake.
“Go back to see Evvy. Your mom said you could sleep a little longer before coming down to join your family. By the way, both your aunts and uncles with their kids are in the kitchen,” he commented, putting on a pair of dark wash jeans, socks, shoes, and a button-up red and green plaid shirt.
“They didn’t do anything did they?” she asked, sitting up slowly. Anderson took that moment to enjoy her, he loved how her thick curls were wild around her heart-shaped face.
“No. Why are you getting up? Lay back down and rest some more, I know you were up with heartburn,” he told her pushing her back over gently.
“If my family is here you are going to need me. My cousins Kelly and Nancy are boy crazy right now and you are the only eligible male in the house. Also if they are here my grandparents are not far behind and my grandma is the classic Italian grandma. She loves to feed people and will share her opinion loudly to anyone within earshot,” she remarked swinging her legs over the edge of the bed and pushing up. Anderson sighed and helped her get to her feet, leaning down he placed a gentle kiss to her lips and then one to her growing belly.
“Then I will wait until you are ready to go back down,” he replied, going to his suitcase to get dressed. He pulled out a pair of dark wash jeans, a navy blue sweater, and a white undershirt. He watched Evelyn pull out a navy blue swing dress along with a bra to match the panties she already had on. Smiling as she slipped the dress over her head and put her arms through he thought about how lucky he was to have her in his life. He couldn’t wait to ask her to be his bride, what she didn’t know was he had spoken with her parents. They were going to let him take her for a walk along the beach so he could propose to her before Christmas dinner.
“What are you looking at?” Evelyn asked him when she caught his stare.
“You and how wonderful you look carrying our son. I love you,” he told her and laughed when her caramel skin darkened with a blush.
“You can’t just say things like that to me out of the blue,” she grumbled and sauntered over to him kissing him on the lips. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her as close as her pregnant belly allowed.
“You are my mate and I will forever love you.” He kissed her again, slipping his tongue into mate with hers until he had his fill of her.
“I love you, Anderson,” she whispered, resting her head against his chest.
“I love you too Evvy. Now come with me and help me face your family.” He took her hand and they went back down to the kitchen where he’d left her family. The kitchen was filled with the aroma of coffee and cinnamon buns.
“Good morning everyone,” Evelyn called and everyone turned almost as one to stare at her.
“Evvy!” Her Aunt Lucinda cried rushing over to pull Evelyn in for a tight hug. Anderson had to jump out of the way when her other aunt came barreling through on the other side.
“You look amazing,” Aunt Yevette gushed, rubbing her round belly. Anderson knew she didn’t like people touching her without permission but she gritted her teeth and let her aunts dote on her.
“Give her some room. I bet the girl is hungry,” her mom ordered walking over with a large plate of cinnamon buns.
“Thanks, Mom,” she said taking the plate and waddling over to sit at the table. Anderson grabbed two cups of coffee and prepared Evelyn’s the way she liked then settled next to her. He wasn’t big on eating breakfast.
“Why are you not eating?” Julia asked, putting plates of bacon and scrambled eggs onto the table.
“I don’t always eat breakfast,” he replied and she frowned at him.
“In this family, we eat,” she ordered and put a plate of cinnamon buns in front of him along with an empty plate for him to take some eggs and bacon. He looked at Evelyn and could see she was trying her best not to laugh at him. He reached under the table and squeezed her leg.
“Where is everyone?” Evelyn asked, looking around for her immediate family.
“They are still asleep and your dad and Luke went to pick up your grandparents from the airport,” her mom answered, sitting next to Evelyn drinking her own coffee.
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