“Are you supposed to be drinking coffee?” Aunt Yevette asked, sitting at the table, Evelyn did her best not to roll her eyes at her aunt.
“Only one cup,” she answered, taking a bite of her cinnamon bun. Evelyn loved her aunts but knew they liked to hover over anyone they felt needed their help. One summer she broke her arm falling off a skateboard, and they’d spent the entire time helping her even when she didn’t want their help.
“When are you due again?” Aunt Lucinda asked, sipping her own cup.
“March seventeenth or around there,” she replied, finishing her meal and wanting to take a walk. Her body was becoming more uncomfortable the further along she got in her pregnancy.
“You look huge for still having three months left,” Nancy commented and Evelyn bit her lip, Nancy was fifteen and didn’t always know when to shut her mouth.
“Shifter babies are bigger,” Yevette put in and Evelyn knew she could relate, her Uncle Milo was a shifter.
“Are they?” Nancy wanted to know, typing away on her phone.
“Yes, you were a nine-pound baby and full term. Your sister Kelly came a month early and was still eight pounds. Evelyn is looking just right for being pregnant with a shifter. What kind of shifter are you Anderson?” Yevette turned her attention to Anderson with a keen eye.
“I’m a tiger ma’am,” he replied, and she shook her head.
“Call me Yevette, you are practically family. Did you mate her?”
“Aunt Yevette,” Evelyn complained.
“Anderson you don’t have to answer that question.”
“It’s okay, Evvy. Yes, we are mated,” he answered, and she frowned at her family.
“But not engaged?” Aunt Lucinda pointed out, staring at her left hand.
“Anderson and I are taking things at our own pace,” she growled, stood up and stormed out of the house. Anderson was hot on her heels, she knew he was because she could sense him.
“Evvy, does it bother you we aren’t engaged?” he asked, and she turned to see the concern in his eyes.
“No, it just bothers me when my aunts get nosey,” she replied, wrapping her arms around his waist and taking a deep breath. His scent always calmed her down and made her feel at home.
“How do you feel about taking a walk?” he asked, rubbing her back.
“Now? I’m supposed to help my mom make dinner,” she replied looking up to see he looked nervous.
“Why not ask and see if she can spare you for a little walk along the beach?” he pushed, and she gave him a confused look.
“Okay… I’ll go ask and grab my jacket,” she answered and went back inside to see breakfast cleaned up and her mom starting on the ham for dinner.
“Mom, do you need any help with dinner yet or can I go for a walk along the beach with Anderson?” she asked, expecting her mom to say no she was surprised when her mom replied.
“Go right ahead, sweetie. I know you must be uncomfortable and sometimes a walk will help.”
“Uh, okay. Call my cell phone if you need us.” Evelyn went back to the front door to get her jacket when her dad walked in with her grandparents.
“Grandma Maye, Grandpa Eddie!” Evelyn cried and hugged each one.
“Evvy, look at you!” Grandma Maye gushed, hugging her tightly. Evelyn loved her grandma and even though she was loud and loved to share her opinions, she was always a bright spot in her life.
“Where is your sexy shifter boyfriend?” she asked, and Evelyn laughed.
“He is getting his coat. We are going for a walk along the beach,” she answered just as Anderson made his way down the stairs.
“Anderson this is my Grandma Maye and Grandpa Eddie,” she announced. He reached out and shook her grandpa’s hand but was yanked into a hug with her grandma.
“It is so nice to meet the man who settled down our Evvy,” Grandma Maye said with a laugh on her face and a twinkle in her eye.
“It is more Evvy settled me. She is the most amazing woman and mate,” Anderson replied and Evelyn felt her face heat up with a blush.
“Ready for our walk?” he asked her and she nodded putting her coat on with Anderson’s help.
“Have fun, we can catch up when you come back,” her grandpa said kissing her cheek and patting Anderson on the arm.
“See you soon,” Anderson replied and took her hand. It was a twenty-minute walk down to the beach and by the time they made it Evelyn knew something was wrong with Anderson. He hadn’t said a word since they’d left her parents’ house and she was getting worried.
“Are you upset there are so many people in the house?” she finally asked, unable to bear the silence any longer.
“No, not at all,” he replied and squeezed her hand, giving her a small smile.
“Then why have you been so quiet?” she asked, stepping onto the sand and taking a deep breath letting the salty air fill her lungs. She loved the beach, some of her fondest memories were of her trips to the beach with her family. She hoped she could bring Anderson and their son here over the summer.
“I’m so I’ve been quiet. I was enjoying being in your company that I guess I got lost in my own thoughts,” he replied, kissing her cheek and pulling her close to the waves.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked looking up to see the breeze ruffle his hair. He looked down at her with his brilliant blue eyes, and her breath caught. The look in his eye made her think he wanted to devour her there on the sand.
“Us,” he answered, and she froze, was he going to leave her?
“What do you mean?” she asked cautiously, willing her heart to calm down and not let her mind race out of control.
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