Busted- Part 9
Actor Chris Evans gets to know the family of his new girlfriend, Emery Thomas, better and more secrets are revealed. Part 9 of the “Georgia On My Mind” Series by avenger-nerd-mom.
Warnings: None, Fluff.
Word Count 3300
Previous Chapter “Quiet” Part 8
While Emery takes her shower, the pizza arrives, and Chris pays a handsome tip to the delivery kid. He’s learned that most of the kids in town are either friends with Emery’s brother, Parker, or are students at her school. When he sees young kids working so hard to make a few bucks, and missing out on a Friday night with friends, it always makes him grateful his parents were able to provide so well for him and his siblings when he was young.
When Emery emerges from her room, wearing the white sweater she stole from him earlier in the week, and a pair of leggings, Chris’s heart turns a summersault. Why girls always look so much better in guy clothes is a wonder, he thinks to himself. Ugh, and thigh high hooker boots? She really was trying to kill him. At barely 5 foot tall, she looks sexy and adorable at the same time. He is disappointed she changed clothes, but realizes sitting around in a cheerleading uniform that is nearly 14 years old probably isn’t that comfortable. He has a little experience in the department of sitting around in uncomfortable uniforms. “Promise you will wear the uniform again sometime,” he begs.
Emery rolls her eyes at him as she lays out the pizza and salad on the table, and Chris comes over to kiss the top of her head before going into the back yard to start the fire pit. The fall weather creates a perfect night to eat on the back porch, maybe even enjoy some s’mores. Chris has wanted to do that all week, and made sure Emery purchased all the supplies when she went to the store the day before!
The level of intimacy that had developed between the two of them in just the last few days- not to mention the last few hours- causes a lump to form in his throat. Shopping together, planning her family gathering- it was all very real- which was just what he had been looking for when he signed up for the online dating service. It was probably time for him to start thinking about taking Emery home to Boston, or inviting his family down for a weekend if filming wouldn’t wrap soon. And the holidays were just around the corner… He wonders if it’s too soon in their relationship to ask her to join the Evans clan on their annual Disney vacation?
They each did just say “I love you” for the first time tonight… Wow. It’s almost too much to comprehend right now, he thinks to himself.
The couple had decided earlier he would stay in the backyard for a few minutes so she could have an opportunity to talk to her family alone first. He leans against the frame of the French doors, and they talk about plans for Sunday afternoon- a Patriots game on TV- while she pulls fresh baked brownies from the oven. “Ice cream?” he asks.
“Are ice cream, brownies, pizza and s’mores on the Marvel approved meal plan?” Emery smiles, as she jabs his stomach.
“Still on vacation from a Cap friendly diet. Kinda like playing a scrawny, brainy type… I can have a cheeseburger AND a beer in the same sitting.”
They both jump a bit when they hear the front door bell ring, and Chris gives one of his gut busting laughs at the look on her face.
“Well, here we go,” she says, as she walks inside, and he moves away to check the fire.
“Where’s Dad?” Emery asks when she greets her family is at the door.
“You know he had to stop and see West first. He loves that dog like he would a grandbaby,” Emery’s mother, Anita, says, kissing her daughter on the cheek as she comes in. Anita’s youthful look and red curls hide her age, and if it weren’t for the gray hairs at her temples, the two could almost be mistaken for sisters.
“Speaking of grandbabies? That new man of yours would make cute ones!” exclaims Susan, her sister in law, as she walks in the door, also giving Emery a kiss on the check. Emery tells her to shut up, and the ladies laugh. “Reece is out in the garage with Dad. And Parker wanted me to tell you he was going out with some friends instead. They were kinda bummed they lost.”
Emery frowns at this. She was really hoping Parker would come, even though the team lost. He was also a big fan of the Avenger movies, and she knew he would be shocked and thrilled with the surprise she was about to reveal to the family!
Her brother in law, Dan, walks in with her niece and nephew in tow. He kisses her on the cheek, and asks if he can go put them down for bed in the guest room. They are often overnight guests, since they live just up the street, and she keeps the room upstairs ready for them. She looks down at the sleepy little ones, tired from a late night at the football game and simply nods her head yes. Her niece and nephew hug her goodnight before going up the stairs.
Mackinzie, her sister, hands Dan an overnight bag before he walks up the stairs. She starts taunting her older sister the minute she walks in the door. “Don’t worry, we’ll take the kids home when we leave. I’m sure you love birds want to be alone,” Mackinzie teases. She pulls her sister aside and asks, “So do we get to see his face? Cuz if it matches his ass, I may have to steal him from you.”
“Whatever, like you would ever leave Dan. But, yes, he has already washed off the face paint. And damn, that is a nice ass, isn’t it?” Emery giggles with her sister.
“It kinda is,” says their mother, and the girls all giggle at her spunky attitude. “Where is that handsome man? I want to get a better look at him. Between the face paint and the stadium lights, I have no idea what he really looks like. I’m just happy you’ve found someone who’s added this smile to your face. He makes you glow, dear,” as she gives her daughter another hug.
Mackinzie whispers, “I don’t think that’s the reason for your glow,” quietly enough that Anita didn’t hear, but Susan does and tries to bite back a laugh.
Emery blushes and waves her hand, as if to shut her sister up. “Chris is outside, getting a fire ready on the porch. He’ll be inside soon.”
“You wanted to use your “teacher voice” to remind us all to behave and not embarrass you? And to not comment on how adorably snuggly you two were during the game?” taunts Mackinzie again. Anita shushes her younger daughter, and quietly reminds her to be nice.
As the women walk towards the kitchen to put more food on the table, Susan pauses to look over the collection of family photos on the entertainment center- the birth of the only grandbabies, weddings, Emery and her math students at state competition, the family on vacation at San Diego Comic Con and Disney. “Hey, where’s the cute picture of you and Sebastian Stan from September? Lucky girl!”
“What?” Emery stops and looks also. Honestly, it’s her house and she’s surrounded by her stuff all the time, so she doesn’t really pay attention to most of the knick-knacks except when it’s time to dust. And then all she does is complain to herself that she has too many knick-knacks! Susan is right. It’s not there. She looks around quickly at the shelves and sees it hasn’t been moved or knocked behind the shelf. “I have no idea where it is,” she says as she looks towards the open patio doors.
Ok. So maybe Chris’s jealousy isn’t so cute, she thinks to herself. Jealous of a five minute fan encounter? Oh, hell, no, this is not ok…
Her brother, Reece, who came in the house after Mackinzie, reaches out to Emery, and puts a hand on her arm. “You okay? You got lost in your thoughts there… Is your man jealous? What does he think of all the fandom nonsense? Sure, we grew up with it, Dad always taking us to Star Wars stuff, but it’s not really normal to most people.”
“You mean having a light saber duel at our wedding wasn’t normal?” asks Susan, feigning shock and insult.
“No, dear, that was not normal,” replies Emery’s mother, with laughter and pride gracing her voice. She is very proud of the independent, free thinking children she raised, and is actually happy they aren’t afraid to show their passions and interests.
“Oh, you’d be surprised how well he’s dealt with it. He’s somewhat familiar with the fandom life,” Emery says with a grin, brushing aside her brief irritation at her man’s poorly placed jealousy.
With her siblings, and their spouses, and her mother surrounding her, she puts her arms out in pleading fashion, and says, “All I’m asking it that you all please, please, please not be YOU for the next few hours. Don’t scare him away; I really like him. And Mackinzie, for the love of all that is holy, can you not make any sexual innuendos tonight?!”
“You know I can’t promise that. It’s too easy to make you blush, and then Dad gets all weird about it… Giving you a hard time is one of my favorite pastimes. So, Chris is a fan too then? How does he feel about your Steve Rogers in military uniform fantasy?” Michaela asks, teasing her big sister even more now that she has requested no sexual comments be made.
“Shut up, Dad will hear you!” Emery blushes again.
“Steve Rogers? In uniform?” A husky voice asks from the kitchen, and everyone turns to look as a tall figure steps into the doorway.
“Fuck,” Emery freezes, and closes her eyes, hoping the floor would open up now and swallow her whole.
“Shit! You’re Chris Evans!” Michaela shouts, as Chris comes up behind Emery and puts his arms around her, whispering, “You are so busted,” in her ear.
Emery blushes, and Chris steps away to properly introduce himself to her family. His comment was not missed by anyone in the family, as noted by the smiles on their faces. “Lord, please kill me know,” Emery prays aloud.
There are expressions of excitement and disbelief, and questions seem to fly from every direction. Emery’s dad missed the reveal because he’d been outside with West, who also is now in the house bounding from person to person, hoping someone will pet her. “Oh, my goodness! You’re Steve Rogers!” Preston Thomas exclaims and laughs, and everyone joins in laughing with him too.
Mackinzie whispers to her sister, “Wait till Dad puts two and two together and realizes you’re having sex with Captain America!”
“Not yet, we’re not,” Emery responds in a hushed whisper.
“What?! What the hell is wrong with you?” she looks at Emery in disbelief and stares over at Chris. “Your dream man? And you didn’t jump him the minute you met him? Wait! How DID you meet, anyway?”
Emery goes to the kitchen to get two beers, opens them both, and hands one to Chris. It’s going to be a very long night.
“So, wait! The hot guy at the Halloween party in the really authentic costume was you in a REALLY authentic costume?” Mackinzie asks, as she pulls her chair closer to Chris.
“Guilty,” Chris grins as he takes another drink of his beer.
“Damn. And I just thought my big sis was running around with random men dressed as Captain America! I don’t know if I’m disappointed, or even more impressed.”
Chris just laughs, knowing he has to take abuse from the younger sister. He knows Emery considers Mackinzie as her best friend, and he knows the younger woman must be somewhat hurt to find her sister has been keeping such a big secret.
“Ok. So what gives? I cornered her earlier, and she says you two haven’t had sex?”
“You’re very forward, aren’t you? Kinda pushy?”
“Yea, whatever. Are you just stringing her along? You’ll be leaving town soon. Damn. Don’t break her heart. I can’t put her back together again.”
Chris pauses and looks over to Emery roasting marshmallows with her dad.
“Mackenzie, I like you. I just met you, but you…” He shakes his head, and takes a deep breath, “Here’s a little secret. And I think you’ll keep it too. If your sister will let me in, I don’t think you’ll ever have to worry about putting her back together again. I think she’ll finally feel complete.”
She pauses and stares at this man she just met. She tilts her head, almost as if to see him better. “You really understand her, don’t you?”
Chris pauses to consider this. “We talked online for weeks; I got to know one side of her. And then I met her and there’s this whole other person and I get to know new things about her every day.”
Emery’s mom and Susan are now leaning in and listening to the conversation. He shyly grins and continues. He knows he’s probably saying too much, and can’t decide if it’s the high he’s on from earlier in the evening or her words after, the beers, or the shot of whiskey her dad made him take.
“She’s really just amazing. The first time we met, she was dancing in her classroom, doing math, surrounded by these students who obviously adore her, and it’s so easy to see why. She’s one of those teachers you hear about on the news that steps in front of the gunman to save the kids,” Chris shudders at the thought and sees her mother do the same, nodding her head in agreement.
He looks up and sees her watching him, and his heart swells with pride. She raises her eyebrow to question him silently and he gives a slight shake of his head. Chris needs to say these things and get these women on his side and he can’t do it if she comes over to check on him.
Susan inquires, “And you’re okay with the Captain America obsession? I mean, you are him. That’s gotta be weird.”
“I thought it was at first. Why is this beautiful girl who is so full of love hiding behind her students, rushing home at night to be with her dog, crazy about a fictitious superhero? I think she was lonely but didn’t know it. She knew what she wanted. This is just me talking, and you ladies know her better than I do; but I think she wanted a Steve Rogers kind of guy.
A little old-fashioned, someone to hold doors open, who would remember her favorite ice cream, and stop to help someone in need; someone willing to wait.” And he looks pointedly at Mackinzie. “But she also wanted a little Collin Shea,” he laughs when he hears her sister in law, Susuan, murmur, “mmhm, we all do” under her breath.
He continues, “Just a more modern version of Steve in many ways… remembers the favorite ice cream, puts the toilet seat down, still helps someone in need, but is a real smart ass about it all, yet still a guy willing to wait.”
“Well, maybe you could put it in just a little bit…” Mackinzie says with a wicked grin on her face.
“Child! What is wrong with you?! You were raised better than that!” Anita admonishes her daughter.
“Oh, come on, Mom, you’ve seen the movie! It’s funny! He knew I was making a joke!”
Chris wills himself not to look over at Anita, and can’t stop the blush he knows is creeping down past his neck. He doesn’t want to know if his girlfriend’s mother has seen this particular film on his IMBD page. “I think Emery formulated that in her beautiful brain like it was a math problem she needed to solve. She was willing to wait for what she was looking for. I just don’t think she ever considered that she might really get exactly who or what she wanted!”
“”Are you saying when you add Steve Rogers plus Collin Shea, you get Chris Evans?” asks Susan.
“Well, not quite, but that’s I think what she thought. She was looking for an old-fashioned, romantic, smart ass. And I guess I do fit that equation, most of the time,” Chris says, thinking he really needs to drop the math analogies. They kind of give him a headache, but seem fitting because of Emery’s job as the math teacher at the area high school.
Anita asks quietly, “What were you looking for, dear?”
He looks over at the older woman, just as petite as Emery, with a hidden strength to her tiny frame. He recognizes this woman is the southern version of his own mother. This is a woman you don’t mess with, and you don’t mess with her kids. He looks at the other women at the table, and looks to where he can now see Emery. She is seated with her brother and brother in law, watching her dad play with her dog. He takes a deep breath and lets it out with a sigh. “Her. I was looking for her. Someone to laugh with; someone to relax with; someone who is honest and true and real. Someone who can handle all the bullshit.”
Anita’s heart constricts and she hates to ask the next question, but knows she must. “And what are you going to do when you are done filming here in 2 weeks?”
Chris looks at her then and holds her penetrating stare. Emery’s mother sees the fear in his beautiful blue eyes. “I don’t know, ma’am.”
A pause settles over the group, and Mackinzie clears her throat to change the subject. Chris silently nods to her, thanking her for changing the subject. Mackinzie smiles back warmly and raises her voice to bring the whole family into the conversation. “Do you all know what that asshole, Martin, did tonight? He gets on the intercom in the Fine Arts Building, and all but names out the alumnus who snuck in to make out and relive old memories? Can you believe that?!”
Chris isn’t so happy with this change in conversation. Dear God, please don’t let Mackinzie throw us under the bus. He’s trying to make a good impression here!
Emery nearly chokes on her beer, “What?!”
“Ah, he does it every year at Homecoming, but I guess with so many of us on campus for the state playoffs, he thought it would be funny to do it again tonight too,” she explains.
“Wouldn’t you have to be IN the Fine Arts Building to hear it?” asks Reese, Mackinzie and Emery’s younger brother.
“Hello, Sound of Music, ’04! Dan, here, and I had our first kiss in that building! You don’t think we’d pass up a chance to sneak in, do you? Of course, the practice rooms were all locked- or taken- so we made out tonight in the prop room under the stage. Just like old times, right, honey?”
Dan blushes, and looks quickly away from his father in law, and Emery joins in with Chris’s raucous laughter that echoes through the darkness, as the rest of the family joins in the mirth.
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