Evelyn walked back into her house and was surprised to see her family all waiting by the front door.
“Why are you all here?” she asked, turning to look over her shoulder at Anderson, he shrugged and gave her an innocent look.
“You went for a walk with Anderson on Christmas day, what do you think we are all doing here?” her mother asked, and Evelyn sighed, holding out her hand for everyone to see the ring.
“Hooray!” Her mother pulled her in for a crushing hug.
“This is such wonderful news! Go sit in the living room and I will bring out the appetizers.” They pushed her toward the living room with Anderson in tow. The rest of the afternoon they are bombarded with questions about their plans, many of which Evelyn didn’t have any answers.
“Leave the girl alone, they got engaged a few hours ago,” her grandma interjected after she was asked if they were sure they wanted to wait until after the baby was born to be married.
“They are mated, mating trumps marriage in the world of shifters,” Uncle Milo comes to her rescue with a growl.
“Thank you, Uncle Milo,” she replied, giving him a smile.
“Anything for you. Congratulations on the baby and engagement. I think everyone has forgotten that Yevette was pregnant with Kelly before we married,” he added, and she saw her Aunt Lucinda huff and he winked at Evelyn.
“We are happy for Evelyn and Anderson no matter what,” Grandma Maye added, reaching over to squeeze her hand. Evelyn looked at her in surprise, she was expecting a lot more opposition from her grandmother.
“Dinner is ready!” her mom announced walking into the living room ending the conversation about their engagement. Anderson took her hand and pulled her back from the group.
“You okay?” he asked, kissing her softly.
“I’m fine, I knew my family wouldn’t be able to keep their questions to themselves. Let’s enjoy dinner and tomorrow we can head back home. Xander sent me an email yesterday about a show he wants us to set up for the end of January.”
“We can start planning after the new year. Remember we have off the next week and do not have to be back at work until the second of January,” he reminded her and she nodded. She couldn’t wait to spend the time getting the nursery ready for Jonah.
“I haven’t forgotten, I have plans for the nursery,” she replied, pulling him into the large dining room to eat with her family.
Dinner went by without too much trouble, the attention turned to Luke and Alexis and about their wedding next spring. Victor and Jeanie were pressed for details about their vegas wedding and their jobs. Evelyn sat back with her hand on Anderson’s leg the whole time enjoying her family and seeing how easily he fit in with them. Soon it was time for presents and dessert.
“Go in the formal sitting room and we will open presents,” her mother orders shooing everyone away from the table. Evelyn started to stack plates to help her mother clean up. Anderson jumped in and took them from her.
“Go sit down and rest, I will help your mom,” he told her kissing her temple and picking up the other plates left behind.
“I am fine, I’ve been sitting the whole dinner. I need to get up and move, the baby is sitting on a nerve and it is uncomfortable.” Evelyn picked up a serving dish and took it into the kitchen.
“Thanks, Evvy, just put everything on the counter and your dad and brothers will clean up.” Her mother pointed to an empty spot on the counter. She put the dish down and went back for more.
“Thank you, Anderson,” she heard her mom say and turned to see him give her mom a smile and follow her back to the dining room. It took them no time at all to clear the table and be ushered into the sitting room where everyone was waiting.
“What took so long?” Eddie asked and Evelyn tried hard not to roll her eyes. Eddie was young and didn’t know how to be patient, a skill he learned from his mother.
“You all left Evelyn and Anderson to clear the table. After presents, Victor, Luke and Harold need to clean the dishes. We won’t be having dessert until the dishes have been washed and put away,” her mother announced and she saw Victor frown. Victor was notorious for disappearing when it came time to clean anything when they were children.
“Okay, presents.” Her mother clapped her hands and her two aunts passed out the presents from under the tree. Each person had a pile, she and Anderson were sharing a pile. The youngest opened their present first and they worked up to the oldest. One present was opened at a time and thank yous were exchanged. Evelyn and Anderson received a lot of presents for Jonah, with explanations her aunt wouldn’t make her baby shower.
“This is a beautiful blanket,” she told her aunt Yevette, it was a patchwork quilt with cartoon tigers. Anderson gave her a wry smile and she could tell he wasn’t sure about the cartoon tigers, but wouldn’t say anything.
“The girls helped me make it,” Aunt Yevette explained and she smiled at her cousins.
“Thank you.” The next presents were baby bottles, diapers, and wipes. The last present was for a maternity photoshoot with a photographer both Anderson and Evelyn had worked with in the past. This one was from her grandparents.
“Thank you, Grandma Maye and Grandpa George. We will use it as soon as we can,” she assured them and they smiled.
“We also got you one for after the baby is born, we want copies of those pictures,” Grandma Maye replied.
“Definitely, we’ll send pictures to everyone,” Anderson added. Evelyn saw all her family smiling at them and knew Anderson had been accepted into the family. The rest of the evening went by with them watching a Christmas Carol and dessert.
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