Tempted by a Tiger (Mate Me Book 3)

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Chapter 54

The day Anderson brought Evelyn and Jonah home was the best day of his life. He hated being in the hospital and didn’t like Jonah being taken to the nursery. Any time Evelyn napped, he took care of Jonah. While in the hospital he watched Evvy struggle with nursing and multiple lactation experts visited them. By the time they got home, Evelyn was a crying mess and Roxie was there to greet her.

“Evvy, come talk to me,” Roxie coaxed, taking Evelyn into their freshly painted living room and sitting her on the couch. Anderson carried Jonah in his carrier and settled in his armchair.

“I can’t seem to get breastfeeding to work!” Evelyn cried and Roxie pulled her in for a hug. Anderson watched on as Roxie comforted Evelyn.

“There is nothing wrong with bottle feeding. Xander and I had to do that, and I nursed because I couldn’t produce enough for both babies. You are not a failure at being a mother if you chose to bottle feed. This is your child, your health. The more you stress about it, the less milk you will produce. You can always bottle feed and pump breast milk,” Roxie explained and Anderson watched his mate’s eyes clear up.

“No one ever talks about how hard nursing is. I am cracked and bleeding,” she complained, and Anderson frowned. He hadn’t seen her breasts bleeding, but he saw her wince in pain every time Jonah latched on. Watching the lactation specialists manhandle her and his child hadn’t helped his tiger’s attitude either.

“Ellie went through the same thing when Ava came home. She said it took a lot of visits to the lactation specialist to get Ava and her nursing on a schedule. You have one lactation visit to the hospital next week when you bring Jonah in for a checkup. Talk to her then, she will help,” Roxie promised and Evelyn’s shoulders relaxed.

“Thanks, Roxie. I’m glad I have a sister-in-law like you,” Evelyn replied and looked up to catch Anderson’s eye. He saw Roxie eased some of her fears and knew she would be all right.

“Any time. Now let me snuggle that baby while you two unpack and settle in. I know how much c-sections hurt and it will take a while for you to recover fully.” Roxie stood and went over to the baby seat taking out Jonah expertly keeping him asleep as she did so. Anderson watched on in awe, he knew the next year would be full of sleepless nights but he couldn’t wait. He finally had the one thing he’d always told himself he couldn’t have, a family and child of his own.

“Come on Evelyn,” he called, taking her hand and drawing her gently up from the couch. He took her up to their bedroom, letting Roxie snuggle Jonah while he took care of her.

“Where are we going?” she asked, letting him take her up to their room.

“To shower. I want to care for your body. I know we cannot be intimate for a while, and I am fine with that. I just need to touch you and reassure my tiger you are whole and healthy,” he begged, stripping her of her sweatpants and shirt.

“Okay Anderson,” she agreed, and he felt his body relax. He hadn’t realized it had worried him she’d tell him no. He turned on the water for the shower and waited for it to be the perfect temperature. While he waited he took in his beautiful mate, he couldn’t believe she’d given him a beautiful baby boy. Her body was amazing.

“What?” she asked, wrapping a towel around herself.

“Your body is even more amazing.”

“Huh?”

“You gave me a beautiful son and your body looks even sexier now,” he admitted and she laughed at him. He knew she didn’t believe him and he couldn’t wait to show her just how sexy he found her. With the water ready, he stripped out of his clothing, unable to hide his arousal for her. Reaching out, he snagged the towel from her body and ushered her into the shower. Using his hands only, he massaged her back gently, sleeping on the small pullout he’d become very sore. Her bed didn’t look any more comfortable, and they had woken her every four hours to make sure Jonah was fed. Watching her struggle with nursing made him feel helpless. Any time Jonah needed a diaper changed, he did it for her. He couldn’t nurse for her, so he did everything else he could to ease her struggle.

Reaching down, he picked up the washcloth and placed a small amount of her body wash. Lathering the cloth to create bubbles, he rubbed her entire body, starting at her feet. Working his way up her legs, he spent extra time massaging her ass. He loved her bottom and couldn’t wait to sink his teeth into it once more.

“You are beautiful,” he whispered in her ear, rubbing the cloth down her arms and across her engorged breasts. As her milk came in, her already big breasts became bigger and more tempting. He kept his touch light, knowing she was very sensitive. Turning her around so he could get a better look at her, he saw how chafed her nipples were.

“Is there something you can put on these?” he asked, making sure not to touch them.

“They gave me a cream. Can I admit something to you?” she asked, leaning her head against his shoulder. Anderson gathered her in his arms, giving her a safe space to talk.

“Anything,” he replied.

“If I chose to bottle feed, will you think I failed?” He gaped at her. How could she think he would think she was a failure?

“No. If you decide to bottle feed, then I can help with feedings. This is your body and your choice,” he answered. He would never, ever make her feel bad about the choices she made for her health.

“Nursing is so stressful. I am always afraid he isn’t getting enough and then I panic,” she admitted.

“Then we bottle feed. Roxie said you could pump and still use your breast milk. She had to add formula because she couldn’t produce enough for Sophia and Bentley. I want you to make the choice that is best for you,” he assured her, placing a gentle kiss on her lips.

“Thank you,” she whispered and kissed him again.

“Anything for you. How is your incision feeling?” he asked, turning off the water and handing her a towel.

“I’m hurting. The nurse said I should take ibuprofen,” she answered, and he opened the bathroom cabinet.

“Here,” he said handing her the bottle and grabbing a cup they kept on the counter for water.

“You are the best. Go down and spend time with Roxie, I will be down in a few,” she told him and he kissed her temple. Getting dressed in sweats and a t-shirt, he went down to see Roxie walking around rocking Jonah back and forth.

“He is amazing,” she told him when he cleared his throat.

“Thanks and thank you for calming Evvy’s fears about nursing. She’d been struggling all the time we were in the hospital.” He took Jonah back and placed him in the bassinet they’d set up in the living room.

“I know Evvy. She puts her heart into everything she does. She will take it personally if she can’t nurse.”

“Very true. Is there anything Xander did that was extremely helpful after you came home from the hospital?” he asked, wanting to make sure he was doing everything he could to help Evvy.

“He changed diapers and helped me change their clothes every time they spit-up. He ran the laundry and made dinner. He told me my only job when we brought the twins home was to care for them and he would take care of the house. Now that the twins are older we’ve split the housework and baby work,” she shared gathering her coat to leave.

“Thanks, Roxie. Thanks for dinner too,” he added, he hadn’t missed she’d brought a covered dish.

“Cooking the first few weeks you are home with an infant is hard. All the girls picked a day of the week to bring you and Evvy a meal. She did the same for Ellie and me,” Roxie replied, buttoning her coat and slipping on her gloves.

“Thanks again,” he replied, and he kissed her cheek.

“Tell Evvy I’ll see her next week.” Roxie bid him goodbye and left. He turned to look at Jonah, starting to wiggle awake in the bassinet. Reaching down, he picked up his son and looked him in his wide eyes.

“You are a miracle and I am so thankful you are in my life. I never imagined I’d become a dad and you’ve made that happen. Life won’t always be easy, but you have your mother and me to help guide you along the way,” he whispered, kissing Jonah’s head.

“You are right,” Evvy interjected, and he turned to see her wearing a long tunic and leggings.

“I am so grateful to have you and Jonah in my life. Thank you for not giving up on me.” He held his arm out for her to come to him. She leaned into his body, wrapping an arm around his waist and looking at Jonah.

“He is all ours,” she whispered, and he felt her awe.

“Ours,” he agreed and kissed her head. This was the life he never imagined this is where his life would take him but thrilled it was his.


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