Tempted by a Tiger (Mate Me Book 3)

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Chapter 49

Anderson watched Evelyn rush around the gallery getting ready for Greta Bridges show. He was sitting with Greta, keeping her out of the way and calm while Evelyn set up.

“How is she?” Greta asked, nodding at Evelyn.

“She is doing well. I’m worried she had some bad Braxton Hicks contractions this morning and I know they were hurting,” he answered.

“When is she due?”

“March seventeenth. She is six weeks from her due date,” he replied and jumped up when their new hire Makbel came in running toward Evelyn. Anderson sensed he was in a panic and didn’t want him to upset Evelyn.

“Makbel what is wrong?”

“One of Greta’s photos is missing!” Makbel was shaking with panic and Anderson sighed.

“Which one?” He knew all the photos picked for the show, he and Greta spent hours picking them.

“The Spangled Cotinga,” Makbel answered and Anderson huffed.

“Let me ask Greta if it was one she decided not to put up,” he replied and went to find Greta. She was waiting in the dressing room pacing back and forth in a black ballgown.

“Greta, The Spangled Cotinga, was it one you decided not to show?”

“Yes. I gave that one to Gus. He loved it so much,” she answered and Anderson felt the knot in his chest dissipate.

“Thanks, one of our new guys thought they’d lost it,” he explained and left her to reassure Makbel he hadn’t lost the picture.

“Makbel,” he called waving the young man over.

“Did you find it?” The poor guy was in a right state and Anderson patted him on the shoulder.

“She gave it to her boyfriend,” Anderson explained and Makbel deflated.

“Oh thank God. I thought I’d lost it and Evelyn would yell at me.” Anderson laughed and knew Evelyn took her job seriously and wouldn’t allow anyone to ruin the show today.

“No harm was done, go help Trent hang up the last photo and then report to Evelyn asking her what next she needs from you,” he instructed and sent Makbel on his way.

“What was that all about?” Evelyn asked, coming up behind him.

“Makbel thought they’d lost a photo. Greta gifted it to her boyfriend,” he explained bending down to place a kiss on her lips.

“It was a last-minute choice for Greta. She wanted to sell it, but in the end, she decided her boyfriend deserved it more. We talked about the painting you gave me for Christmas,” Evelyn replied leaning into his side. He noticed she grimaced and held onto her stomach.

“Are you okay?”

“Those Braxton Hicks contractions are really hard today,” she answered.

“Are you sure they are just practice then?” she was six weeks from her due date and it was within the realm of possibility she could be in real labor.

“No, they aren’t consistent.” She waved off his concern and walked away slowly.

“Lauren,” Anderson called, deciding that Evelyn needed to be seen by a doctor. She looked in a ton of pain.

“What is up Anderson?” Lauren asked walking over with a clipboard in her hands. Anderson really liked Lauren and thought she had been a good addition to their team.

“I am taking Evelyn to the doctor. I think she might be in labor, all day she has been wincing and holding her stomach.”

“I noticed that too. She waved them off as Braxton Hicks,” Lauren added.

“That is it, I am taking her to the ER. You are in charge and I’ll let Xander know.” He walked off to find Xander and in a stroke of luck, he was talking with Evelyn.

“Evvy, you look like Roxie did when she went into labor with the twins. I want you to get checked,” Xander was telling her when Anderson walked up.

“I am fine,” Evelyn argued.

“I am taking you to the ER Evvy. No more arguing,” Anderson interjected and without her agreement, he scooped her up and marched out of the gallery and to their car.

“I am not due for six weeks!” Evelyn demanded but she let him buckle her in.

“I want them to check you,” he answered, worry lacing his voice. He jumped into the driver’s side and drove to the ER trying not to speed. This was his fear, Evelyn might be in labor and he couldn’t stand if anything happened to her.

“I’ll call my doctor and explain everything,” Evelyn remarked, pulling her phone out and calling her office. Anderson tapped on the steering wheel impatient to hear what the doctor said.

“Okay we’ll go to the hospital,” she replied to the doctor after a back and forth conversation. He relaxed hearing her finally agree to be seen. They were another twenty minutes away from the hospital when Evelyn hung up.

“They want me to come in and see what is going on. The doctor seemed concerned I am in early labor,” she shared, he knew because his shifter hearing was good, but wanted to hear her say it.

“Good, we are twenty minutes away,” he answered, reaching over to take her hand. She squeezed and held on. Anderson looked over to see her wincing in pain again and knew this had to be it. They were going to be meeting their son very soon.

“I see that smile. I don’t think I am in labor,” Evelyn argued and Anderson shook his head but wisely kept his opinion to himself. He pulled into the parking lot and helped Evelyn out. They walked in through the emergency room entrance to be met by a nurse with a wheelchair.

“Are you Evelyn Tate?” the nurse asked.

“Yes.”

“Your doctor called us, I will take you to the maternity ward and we will check what’s going on,” she said, giving both of them a big smile. Anderson took Evelyn’s bag and walked behind the wheelchair being pushed by the nurse.

“How far along are you?”

“Thirty-four weeks.”

“So not too far from your due date.” The nurse kept up a steady stream of questions as she pushed Evelyn through the hospital. Anderson lost track of all the twists and turns they took and prayed he’d be able to find his way out again. Finally, after an elevator ride up they stopped at the maternity ward. Evelyn was wheeled into a bedroom and told to sit on the bed.

“Are you the father?” the nurse asked him and he nodded.

“Have a seat. I will take her vitals and hook her up to a machine. I want to see what is happening,” the nurse ordered and Anderson sat to watch her move around the room. She was efficient and had Evelyn hooked up to a monitor quickly.

“This will monitor for contractions,” she explained pointing to the paper and needle starting to move. Anderson watched for a minute to see a steady stream of ink printed paper come out of the machine.

“I’ll take your blood pressure now,” the nurse continued wrapping a cuff around her arm and pumping air in. Anderson sensed Evelyn’s unease and reached out to take her free hand. She gave him a smile but remained silent.

“Blood pressure is fine. I’ll come back in a few to check on your contractions. The doctor will be in shortly.” The nurse left and Anderson squeezed Evelyn’s hand.

“You okay?”

“This is so serial. We haven’t had our hospital tour, we only had three birthing classes. I am not ready to be a mom. What if I screw everything up? What if there is something wrong with the baby?” she spouted off a litany of questions and Anderson realized she was just as nervous as he about having a baby.

“Evelyn, I see you take care of everyone around you. You are amazing with Sophia and Bentley. You are a natural.” He tried to reassure her and pat her hand.

“Let’s wait for your results before we jump to conclusions. It could be false labor and they send us home,” he told her kissing her knuckles.

“Thanks, Anderson, you are my source of strength.” He watched her close her eyes and lay back in the bed. The beeping of the machines she had been hooked up to grated on his nerves. He hoped the doctor would come in soon.


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