Chapter Fifty Eight
5 months later
I had forgotten what it felt like to be apart of a real family, to celebrate holidays together and spend real time with each other. My heart flourished with warmth as I watch Evan pull a Christmas jumper up and over his head, his brown hair becoming static.
My lips twitch up into a smile as I watch him in the mirror. “I like that one,” I say as his eyes find mine for a moment.
He grins back before nodding. “Me too,”
As I walk towards him, I take in the details of the jumper. Red cable knit with little reindeers and snow on the front, completely matching Evan’s personality. Cute and sweet.
My front presses to his back and I wrap my arms around his body, his fingers latching onto my forearms.
Evan’s blue eyes glisten in the reflection. “I like your jumper too,” he says as he brushes his hand against the white wool on my arms.
I resist the urge to roll my eyes, he was persuasive to say the least. “I’m only wearing it because it’s Christmas Day and no other reason,” I say as I lower my lips to his neck.
“No other reason?” He smirks, his eyebrows challenging me.
“Don’t push your luck,” I laugh into his skin before pulling away and resting my hands onto his shoulders. “Right we should probably go downstairs, I’m not sure how much longer Aurora and Luca can put off opening their presents.”
Evan stifles a laugh and nods. “Too right,” he says as he notions towards his bedroom door.
The sounds of laugher could be heard from the stairs, Christmas has never been my kind of holiday. I guess before I never really had a reason to enjoy it as a child or when I grew up. But Evan is adamant that I should try and enjoy it this year, to be grateful for the things we have and the people surrounding us.
As we enter the room, my eyes are met by the world biggest Christmas tree. Presents, lights, decorations. It was literally the definition of Santa’s grotto, but what did I expect? Ava always went 110%, doubting Jaxon did nothing more than get everything down from the attic.
Evan slips through the door first and connects eyes with Ava, she grins and rushes over to him. “Merry Christmas,” she beams as she pulls him into the tightest hug.
“Merry Christmas to you too,” he mumbles into her shoulder.
She soon makes her way over to me, her little arms wrapping around me invitingly. “Come sit, everyone’s been waiting for you guys,” Ava says as she opens her arm up to the room.
My eyes float from Kayleigh and Kayden in the corner to Lucy and Sebastian with Luca, glancing at Lucy’s rather large baby bump. Then to Jaxon and Aurora sitting on the floor, I couldn’t believe how big she has got. From the first time I met her till now, they grow unbelievably fast.
Evan and I spread our Christmas wishes to everyone, hugs and kisses continuously. Evan was right, this is a day of love and family.
Ava moves over on the couch for me to sit down, my fingers finding Evan’s as I pull him beside me. My hand gently resting on his thigh, watching as he smiles to everyone in the room.
“Right!” Ava shouts loudly, she levels down to Aurora’s height. “Who is ready for presents?”
Luca barges out of Sebastian’s hands and joins Aurora in a cheer of noise and jumping.
“Me! Me! Me!” Over and over. Normally the sound would irritate me but they are happy and they’re kids who are unbelievably cute. My heart warmed at the idea of children for the first time.
“Who has been good for Santa?” Ava flexes an eyebrow towards them both.
“I have I promise Mommy! I’ve been so good,” Aurora mumbles as she shifts from foot to foot in anticipation.
“And you Luca?”
He nods aggressively. “I’ve been good all year!”
Ava smiles and places her hands on her hips. “Well I suppose you should have a look in your sacks and see what Santa left you guys!”
Aurora screams as she launches herself towards her Christmas sack and instantly digs in.
I flick my eyes towards Evan who is resting his head on top of his knee, his eyes firmly on Aurora and Luca in front of him. He smiles and he soaks them in, watching as they get excited over the endless amounts of presents. My hand raises to brush through the back of his curls, he barely notices my touch as he continues to be in awe by them.
Evan’s eyes were lighter and brighter than I’ve ever seen them before, full of life and a deep sense of belonging. This was his family now, this was his life and future. He laughs and he smiles, his teeth on show continuously as the children rip open the wrapping paper.
After a while Aurora and Luca finish opening their presents and play with their toys together next to Lucy.
“Think it’s time us adults got a break,” Jaxon breathes out as he stuffs the last scrunched up ball of wrapping paper into a bin bag. “And someone better have bought me a bottle of whiskey.”
Ava snorts sharply out of her nose. “You’ll be lucky,”
Presents are handed out around us, Evan is showered in gifts like he was the favourite child. I knew how overwhelmed he would be, finding the words to thank people and be grateful was something he struggled with but he tried. His voice became stuck in his throat a few times but I gently rubbed his back for comfort.
If this wasn’t a show of appreciation for him and how much he meant to every single person in this room, then I don’t know what would be.
A ocean scented candle, a yoga book and mat, a range of different flavours of pop tarts, oversized knitted jumpers.
Ava gifted him a long pendant necklace with a ring on the end, engraved with his favourite quote.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Evan repeated over and over how many times he loved it and how special it was to him. He slips it over his neck instantly and grips the ring in his hands before hugging Ava tightly again.
He turns to me, his fingers latching onto the jewellery and pointing it to me. “Look,” he breathes out. “Isn’t this amazing?”
I nod instantly. “It is,” I smile. “Ava you did good.”
She grins back at me, her pony tail swishing as he pushes herself up from the floor. “I know,” she smirks. “Anyway, there’s one more present for you Evan,”
His eyes instantly glance from me to Ava. “More?” He says in disbelief. “You guys have completely spoilt me,”
Ava shakes her head as she kneels down by the Christmas tree and grabs a red little box with gold ribbon wrapped over it. “It’s not from us,” she says as she hands it to him.
Evan’s little fingers take the box and he rests it in his lap, his eyes taking one quick look at me. I was smiling like an idiot, a nervous, giddy idiot.
“Is this from you?” He asks and I nod, my grin remaining firmly on my lips.
“Merry Christmas pups,” I say quietly as I watch his fingers pull at the delicate piece of ribbon.
Trying his hardest to undo the knot that now tightened in the middle. Evan lets out a dry huff as he picks at the fabric. “How does this always happen to me?”
A laugh escapes my lips as I lean forward to hook my fingernail under the ribbon and yank it free. Evan finally releases his breath as he looks at me and smiles. Throwing the ribbon onto the floor, gingerly taking the lid of the box off.
He picks up the card and flicks it open with his thumb. His eyes scan across the card, my skin itching to know what he was thinking. Time ticks by and the room grows increasingly quieter, I could hear my blood rush in my ears.
Placing the card down onto the couch next to him and pushing open the thin tissue paper in the box. Evan breathes in sharply as he realises what the card meant, his fingertips fumble with the endless amount of small cut out drawings.
Flowers, animals, patterns. Unique to him, drawings I have drawn only for him.
Evan’s watery eyes flick to mine. “Caleb I—” he stops not being able to find the words.
“You said you wanted a new start and I thought maybe it would mean more to you if they were personalised to you,” I say quietly. “I’ve booked as many hours as you need with one of the best tattoo artists in Michigan.”
A small breath leaves Evan’s lungs, his shoulders dropping in the process. “Caleb I just—”
Panic strikes and my heart stops harshly. “Y-You don’t have to do have it done pups, it was just an idea. It’s completely okay if you don’t want to cover them up or use my work or anything. I just thought maybe this was your step forward to a new start. I remember you talking about maybe wanting to cover your scars.”
Evan shakes his head again. “No Caleb I love it,” he says as a single tear escapes his eye. “It’s just so thoughtful and—”
He rummages through the cut out templates and admires each one. “Did you draw all of these for me?” He questions as he wipes his nose quickly.
I nod, my hand moving forward to rub his back. “Yeah I did,”
“That must have taken you ages,” he breathes out, his head shaking in the process.
My lips twitch into a smile. “Well I had a lot of time when I couldn’t see you whilst you were in the hospital,” I say. “I made it a little project, I hope you like them.”
Evan grins. “I love them,” he pauses. “So much.”
He pushes through the cut outs again before pulling one out of the box. The picture was a rough outline sketch of my wolf and his wolf, together. Enough detail to recognise that it was us. “You drew us?” He whispers.
“Yeah, I drew us,”
Evan blinks and quickly wipes his eyes. “I can’t wait to get these on me,” he nods towards me, his eyes beaming with happiness.
“Thank you,” he says before leaning forward to press a soft kiss to my lips. “You never fail to amaze me.”
“Only the best for the best,” I mumble against him as I stretch my hand through his thick hair.
“Way to show me up Caleb,” Ava jokingly pouts at me. Evan laughs and pulls away from me.
“My gift to you wasn’t as thoughtful as yours,” Evan says as he places the lid back on the box and onto the floor. “But I really did try,”
“Pups I couldn’t give a crap about presents,” I smile towards him.
“Well you better give a crap about this one,” Evan flexes an eyebrow at me before standing up and grabbing the last big present by the tree.
He hands me the rectangle gift, my hand smoothing over the glittery and well wrapped paper. He always paid attention to little details and I loved that.
I rip open the paper and take in the canvas in front of me. It was a sound wave in the colours of deep blue and turquoise, a soft shimmer covering the art. “There is a space in your room that always looked bare, I thought it would be nice to cover it,”
“What does it say?” I ask as I brush my finger tips over the board gently.
Evan’s eyes glisten at me, his shoulders raising in the process. “There is an app you can download on your phone, if you scan it. You’ll hear my voice,” he smiles.
“Pups, this is the cutest thing,” I say eventually, my heart feeling heavy.
“I know it’s a little cringe but I wanted to get you something sentimental. Something you can keep forever, or play if we aren’t together. You’re off being an Alpha and you need some home from home comfort.” His hand grips onto my bicep as he lowers his head onto my shoulder.
“This is thoughtful, it’s so sweet. Thank you,” I say as I place a kiss to the top of his head.
“Oh you guys,” Ava chirps and she claps her hands together and stands from the floor. She takes one look around the tree. “Guys I think that’s it—wait I see one more present!”
Everyone’s head turns to Ava as she reads the tag on it, her eyes scanning across the card. “Kayden,” she smiles. “It’s for you.”
Kayden pulls a surprised face before she hands him the small box. Ava retreats and sits on the arm of the couch next to Kayleigh across the room. “Come on guys,” Kayden starts as he narrows his eyes at everyone. “You know I don’t do presents.”
“Just shut up and open it,” Jaxon mumbles as he slaps Kayden on the back.
Kayden eventually lets out a rough sigh before he tears off the paper in one pull and it floats to the floor. Taking off the lid slowly his eyes dart to what’s inside.
His face pales.
“Oh my God,” he breathes out, his hands now shaking.
“What?” Ava says instantly.
Kayden’s hand moves to cover his mouth in shock. “Kayleigh...”
“What is it?” Jaxon asks suddenly as he kneels to get a better look.
No one knew where to look, what was going on?
“Tell us!” Ava yells which chills the air.
Kayden’s eyes water as he glances towards Kayleigh. “You-you’re pregnant?” He breathes out in disbelief.
I’m not sure who gasped first but I’m sure we all did in the same second. Flicking our eyes between the pair, Kayleigh blinks as many tears escape her eyes. “Yeah,” she croaks out as she nods her head.
“Fuck,” Kayden curses before he launches himself off of the couch, just as Kayleigh stands up in time.
They embrace and they cry and it was such a wholesome moment that I felt grateful to be apart of.
“God,” Kayden says as he cradles the back of her head. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too,” she mumbles into his neck. “We can be a family now.”
“Oh my God, you guys,” Ava wails as Jaxon wraps his arm around her. “I’m so happy for you both, you have no idea.”
I didn’t realise everyone was crying until Evan sniffles loudly from beside me. We let them have their moment and we congratulate them after. Everyone had puffy eyes and tear stained cheeks but the smiling never stopped.
As I pull away from giving Kayleigh a soft hug, my hands rest on her shoulders. “Way to show me up,” I joke and Kayleigh cracks a smile, a small laugh erupting from her chest.
“But I’m so pleased for you guys,” I smile towards her. “You’ll be the best parents.”
“Thank you Caleb,” she nods at me, her eyes swimming with tears.
Evan slides in next to me and I automatically wrap my arms over his shoulder. “I want to keep this moment forever, this day forever. It’s already been so perfect and it’s not even midday.” He sighs deeply from beside me.
“Then let’s hold onto today and enjoy what’s in store for us,” I say as I turn him towards me.
His big blue eyes look up to me. “It’s only going to get even better from here, right?”
“Too right,” I smile as I softly peck his lips. “You and me against the world.”
. . .
Guys😢😢😢 they’re so cute and I’m so sad.