Chapter 19 | Meet The Jacksons
𝐀 𝐕 𝐀 𝐋 𝐎 𝐍
Standing in front of my bed, my case is lay open on my bed as it refuses to shut. Huffing, I cross my arms and bite my lip, trying to figure out how to close it. Even though Thanksgiving break is four days, I’m the type of girl that over packs and my small case isn’t doing me any favors right now. I lent Hannah my big one before I even knew I was going somewhere for Thanksgiving. Now I’m struggling to get all my stuff in my case, and Hannah left this morning to return home. Checking the time on my phone, Noah is supposed to arrive soon. Thinking of my last option, I can to shut it. I run and jump on my case screaming as I fall off the bed landing on my back on the floor with a groan.
Noah runs into the room wide eyed. He must have heard me scream. He sees me on the floor, looking confused, before his eyes flicker to the case on my bed.
“I’m ok,” I mumble, before he holds his hands out, which I take for him to help me up and I brush off my jeans and black wrap bodysuit.
“I tried running and jumping on my case. But I fell off and hurt my back instead. It won’t shut,” I pout, and he chuckles before walking over pressing down on the case before zipping it shut and my jaw drops. “WHAT! I spent thirty minutes trying to close that damn thing. You and your stupid muscles,” I huff before grabbing my handbag as he laughs behind me taking my case as we leave my apartment locking it. “Have the guys left?”
“Yeah. Aiden left this morning since he has to travel further and Dylan left not too long ago,” Noah explains, putting the case in the trunk of his car before we climb in the front. He turns on the engine before pulling out of my apartment building parking lot and soon enough we’re on the road to his parents’ house, which isn’t too far away.
“So, how many family members will be there? I mean, you said you have a big family.”
“Right now, it’s my immediate family and grandparents. Everyone else is coming at different times tomorrow. There will be around thirty of us,” Noah explains, and my jaw drops. Having grown up with three members and then two in my family, thirty was huge in my eyes. He chuckles, seeing my expression.
“You’re sure everyone is ok with me coming? I feel bad intruding,” I twiddle my thumbs and Noah places his free hand over mine, stopping me from fiddling.
“They’re fine with it, Ava. My family is excited to meet you. They know you can’t go home for Thanksgiving cause you’re from New York and my parents would have dragged you if you refused to come,” Noah explains and I laugh. “Have you spoken to your dad?”
“Yeah, I have. He says thank you, he’s happy I won’t be on campus alone. He was a little protective when I told him it is a guy and a quarterback I’m staying with.”
He chuckles, shaking his head. “Sounds protective.”
“More so when my mom passed away. Then everything with ex happened, so he doesn’t trust any guy with me anymore.”
“Understandable. You know I feel bad for my little sister Luna, as soon as she’s old enough to date she’s gonna have me, Liam, my dad and the twins interrogating guys,” Noah chuckles and I laugh.
Turning my head to look out of the window, I recognize the area as we get closer to Noah’s house. He announces we’re here and parks up his car next to the others. Turning off the engine he turns to face me seeing my nervous expression.
“Relax, they’ll love you,” He reassures me before I nod my head and we get out of the car. I grab my handbag, and Noah grabs my case and his duffle bag from the trunk of the car before we walk into the house. “We’re here!” Noah shouts closing the door behind us and puts our stuff down, telling me to take off my shoes and jacket where there are hooks and a shoe rack in the entrance.
“Noah!” A little girl screams running into the room, her brown hair bouncing around her. “Yay! You’re here. The twins are being mean,” She runs into Noah’s legs. Pouting as she hugs them and he chuckles, picking her up and placing her on his hip.
“I’ll tell them to stop ok, Luna-Bell? Did mom do your hair?” He questions, referring to the waterfall braid, and she nods her head. “It looks nice.”
She beams, hugging him before her eyes land on me. “Hi,” She shyly waves at me and I smile back. “Is this your friend? She’s pretty.”
“I know,” Noah whispers and I blush. “Luna this is my friend Avalon. Avalon, this is my little sister Luna.”
“I love your name,” I tell her, and she giggles.
“Yours too, you sound like a princess,” She jumps up and down and Noah smirks, referring to his nickname for me.
“Come on, let’s go find everyone and introduce them to Ava,” Noah puts Luna down before she runs off and Noah leads me to the kitchen, his hand resting at the small of my back. Walking through the house, my eyes glance around since last time when I was here for the party I couldn’t with all the people. “Hey ladies.”
Two older women and one woman who looks a few years older than us stand in the kitchen, cooking and talking. They beam when they see Noah, making me realize how close his family is.
“There’s my grandson!” The older woman gushes, running over to hug Noah. “You’ve gotten so handsome, you’re being good, right? Beating everyone at football?”
“Of course grandma. You threatened to kick my ass if I lost a game,” Noah looks nervous as she places her hands on her hips, as I stifle a laugh.
“Move child!” She pushes Noah out of the way to look at me. “My god, you are beautiful. You must be Avalon. I’m Noah’s grandma, call me Grandma Rose, everyone does. Your girlfriend is so beautiful.”
She brings me into a hug which surprises me but I happily hug her back and I see Noah smiling although he looks embarrassed. “Gran she isn’t my girlfriend, I told you we’re friends.”
“Well, that makes sense she’s too beautiful for you,” She pulls back from the hug waving him off as I laugh.
“I love your grandma.”
“Of course you do. You’re both violent women. Anyway, before you two plot how to hurt me. Avalon, this is my mom Sarah and my sister-in-law Emery,” Noah introduces, and his mom walks over to hug me.
“It’s so nice to finally meet you. Call me Sarah, we’re not formal. I’ve been telling these boys to be nice to you ever since I found out you would be around the team for a semester. I hope no one is giving you any trouble.”
She pulls back and I begin to thank her. “Nothing I can’t handle. It’s nice to meet you too and thank you for letting me join in on your Thanksgiving.”
“Nonsense, the more the merrier. Plus, Noah mentioned how far away from home you are.” She waves me off, “I already like you more than Dylan and Aiden,” She whispers, and I laugh.
“Don’t let Dylan hear that, he thinks he’s your favorite,” Noah says and I chuckle before he turns to Emery. “That tux fitting is in a few weeks, right?”
“Yes. It’s for Liam, you, the groomsmen, your dad and the twins,” Emery lists before turning to me. “Never get married, planning a wedding is hard. If you do, make sure you marry someone who knows what will look good at a wedding.”
“I hope Noah hasn’t been too annoying,” Emery smirks to Noah, who rolls his eyes.
“It’s bearable,” I tell her, and we laugh.
“I’m wounded,” He places his hand to his heart.
“Noah don’t stand there. Take her bag and show her to the guest room, where are your manners,” Grandma Rose asks him.
“Why did I think my mother, grandma and Ava were safe in this house together? I will get verbally abused for these four days,” He mutters picking up our bags. “Come on I’ll show you upstairs and then introduce you to everyone else,” He leads me upstairs. “I’d let you stay in my room but doubt my mom or grandma would like that,” He adds, and I slap his arm laughing, knowing he’s referring to the time on Halloween. “Here you go.”
We walk into the guest room and he places my case down on the bed for me. “Thank you. Your family seems nice, I love your grandma.”
“I’m sure you’re her new favorite. Dinner will be ready soon. So, I will tell the rest you’re here while you unpack some stuff and I’ll come get you when it’s ready.”
I thank him before he walks out, and I look around the room before I unpack some essential stuff.
Sitting around the dining table with the rest of Noah’s family having been introduced to them before we sat down. We all pass around the food, piling up our plates, some more than others. In this case Noah, who almost has a mountain of food.
“So, Ava, how does your family feel about you not being able to go home for Thanksgiving?” Sarah questions as I pass her the bread rolls.
“It’s only my dad and me. We don’t have a big family. Since I started college, he’s been going to his sisters for the holiday and last year I went to my friend Hannah’s place for it. He’s understanding, he knows tickets can get expensive for now and Christmas.”
“You and your dad must be close,” Emery chips in and I nod my head, smiling.
“Very. But he always says he has to be protective enough for two people, especially with guys. That’s the only time we ever argue,” I chuckle, shaking my head.
“I understand that one, this one is never leaving the house,” Mr. Jackson says, referring to Luna.
“Noah has already said she’s going to have all the men being protective of her when she’s old enough to date,” I laugh, and they all join in.
“You have no mommy?” Luna asks from where she sits next to me, looking up at me with her big doe eyes.
“Luna, you can’t ask that,” Sarah scolds.
“It’s ok,” I wave her off, not minding talking about this topic. “No, I don’t. When I was twelve, she went to heaven. So she’s an angel now,” I explain in a way that doesn’t sound awful and she giggles making me smile. Noah’s hand rests on my knee under the table, squeezing it in a comforting way, and I smile at him.
“How’s football coming along, Noah?” His dad asks before him and Noah dive into a conversation about it. No surprise there. He can talk forever about it.
“You’re majoring in journalism, right?” Emery starts a conversation with me, and I nod my head. “That sounds exciting. I wish I chose that rather than nursing, I mean I love it, but the academic part of it bored me.”
I laugh. “So how did you and Liam meet then?”
“The idiot got into a car accident four years ago and I was his nurse while he was recovering and we fell in love.”
“I’m going to puke,” Alex says, making everyone laugh and Liam rolls his eyes before kissing Emery.
“Kids at the table and people who don’t want to see that,” Noah reminds him and Liam flips him off, making me laugh. “You’re supposed to be on my side.”
“Noah told me about the wedding congrats,” I smile at Emery.
“Thank you. Sarah has been helping a ton, I wouldn’t be having a wedding without her,” Emery smiles at Sarah who is beaming.
“And you know your fiancé who did the proposing and who is paying for this wedding, but whatever,” Liam shrugs and Emery laughs before hugging him.
“Again ew,” Max comments, scrunching his face up at the action.
“Those two are never getting girlfriends and moving out, are they?” Sarah asks her husband, who shakes her head.
“Let’s not forget it took two months of me convincing him he was doing the right thing by proposing. The most confident person ever and he couldn’t propose,” Noah scoffs and we laugh.
“I’ll remember this moment when you get nervous before you propose to a girl,” Liam smirks and Noah rolls his eyes.
“As long as it’s before I die, I don’t care,” Grandma Rose waves around her fork, making everyone choke on their food.
“Mom!” Sarah shouts in disbelief and Rose waves her off. “Don’t say stuff like that.”
“Welcome to the family,” Noah whispers in my ear, making me chuckle. We finish dinner and after helping Sarah and Rose with the dishes, which took a lot of persuading on my part since they kept insisting, I am a guest and shouldn’t. We all watched TV in the living area for a while, watching a movie before we all head upstairs to get some sleep.
“What do you think of the crazy family?” Noah asks as we step into the room I’m staying in.
“I like them. It seems nice to have a big family,” I smile.
“Yeah, it is. Although you’ve seen our movie night,” He laughs referring to the fact everyone had different ideas of what to watch and friendly arguments broke out. “Anyway, it’s thanksgiving tomorrow so I’ll let you rest up. It’s hectic in our household so you’ll need all the sleep you can get.”
“Goodnight,” I kiss his cheek and he smiles before walking out. Closing the door behind him, I flop back onto the bed, looking up at the ceiling.
What a day.