Actor Chris Evans and his girlfriend, Emery Thomas, prepare for their first public appearance together at the Oscars. Emery battles a case of the nerves and Chris finds a way to calm her
Warnings: None, FLUFF
Word Count: 2085
Part 1 of 2 “Oscar Sunday”
“Babe, what are you doing?”
“Grading papers,” she smiles shyly as she shuffles the papers spread across her lap. Her pink and white polka dotted robe is wrapped tightly around her body and her tiny feet are up on the coffee table, her signature purple toenail polish sparkling on her toes. “How was rehearsal?” She asked, hoping to change the subject.
Chris sits on the table, gently pulling the papers from her hands and setting them on the magazines stacked beside him. He takes the foot closest to him and holds it tightly with his large, strong hands. “Rehearsal was fine. It’ll be great… You? You’re supposed to be relaxing,” he sighs, tugging and pulling on her toes. He smiles when a quiet moan escapes her lips and her head sinks into the pillow behind her head. She growls when she can’t get comfortable because of the giant curlers covering her head.
“Grading papers IS relaxing,” she giggles.
“Woman, you are crazy! No, you are not supposed to do anything today.” His teasing turns to concern quickly when Emery raises her hand up to pinch the bridge of her nose. “Hey, what’s wrong?”
Sighing deeply, she says, “Small headache. I don’t think I can do this. Can you just hand me my damn papers and leave me alone for a bit so I can center?”
Chris continues massaging her feet. “Talk to me. I know you think I can read your mind, but I really can’t. I get that your stressed, but let’s talk about it.”
“What’s there to talk about? I’m dating a superhero movie star and tonight is the biggest night in Hollywood. I have spent the last two days with your team, learning to walk and stand and exit the car gracefully. Good god! I was a debutante and a pageant princess, I know all that shit, but who the fuck actually thought I would need to remember it! I just want to watch the Oscars at home in my sweats and pony tail like I do every year!” She pauses and glares at him. “But NOO. I have to put on a dress and heels and the crew downstairs is waiting to finish my hair and make-up later and there will be interviews and photographers, and if I keep talking I might hyperventilate. How are you so damn calm, Mr. Anxiety?!”
“Easy. I’ll have the most beautiful woman by my side, and I get to show you off to the world.” He picks up the papers, handing them back to her and moves to sit beside her on the couch in the master suite of his LA home. “You center me; I have nothing to be anxious about… Wait, did you say ‘pageant princess?’”
“Evans,” she chuckled. “I grew up in the deep South. I had a crown on my head before I had hair.”
“How did I not know this? Pictures. I need to see pictures! Oh, god, you had giant 90s hair and a crown didn’t you? Some giant pink bubblegum ball gown? What was your talent? Quadratic equations?”
She giggles and wraps her arm around his, sighing contentedly. “Thanks. I feel better.”
“No, I’m serious. I need to see these pictures.”
“I think my mother burned them,” Emery starts to squirm from embarrassment, and Chris watches the blush creep down her chest.
“She did not! I’m calling her later; telling her to text me some photos,” he leans to kiss the top of her head, forgetting about the giant curlers. “Hey, what’s with the toes? Why didn’t you get them done yesterday with your nails?
“You know I always wear purple, it was Nicole’s favorite color,” Emery reminds him. Nicole was a student in Emery’s class many years ago who passed away three years ago in a car accident less than a mile from her home. The young girl always wore purple nail polish and this is Emery’s way of remembering her. “Besides you can’t see my toes in my shoes anyway, and I just got them done last week.”
“So you didn’t get your toes done to save me money?” Chris shifts on the couch, looking irritated with her.
“Well, no, not really, it just seemed like a waste, and there were other clients waiting. I didn’t need it so I skipped it.”
“Goddamn it, Emery,” Chris huffs, getting up off the couch. “I get you want to keep your independence and be financially stable on your own, but when I send you to do somethin’ relaxin’, somethin’ you enjoy, don’t goddamn skimp. Money is no fuckin’ object. And if you’re freakin’ out over the price of the spa, don’t dare ask about the price of the damn earrings on loan to us.”
His rant loses steam when she starts to giggle. “What? What the hell is so goddamn funny?!”
“Honey, your Boston is showing,” Emery falls over on her side, laughing hysterically, barely able to catch her breath.
“Shut the fuck up!” he hollers. Feeling deflated he turns to leave the room.
“Aw, don’t go away mad! Come back!” she yells after him.
“I’m goin’ to get somethin,’” he calls back down the hallway.
Chris returns with a fishing tackle box, some towels and something that looks like a mop bucket about ten minutes later. He rolls his eyes at her because she is still grading papers. She watches him warily as he sits back down on the coffee table. “Thanks for the laugh earlier. I needed that. I feel a little better now,” Emery says, apologetically.
“It wasn’t funny. I was mad. Still am. God, woman, you drive me crazy.” He pulls a water bottle out of one of the larger cargo pockets on his army green shorts, and two aspirin from a smaller pocket, handing them to her for her headache.
“I know, babe. I’m sorry. I don’t do it on purpose. That was just the way I was raised. Ma didn’t want us girls to have to depend on a man. I guess I’m kinda set in my ways, having been single for so long.” She watches with interest as Chris folds one of the towels and places it in his lap. He opens the tackle box and seeing what’s inside and she smiles warmly. “Whatcha got there, Mister?”
“Your toes cannot be purple tonight. Ilaria says one of these four will match your dress,” he reaches in another pocket, producing four small paint bottles. Ilaria has helped him with his clothes for years, and the two women hit it off when Emery was in town for Valentine’s Day. A small army was gathered downstairs to help the couple get ready later, steaming his suit and getting her dress ready for the big event. Ilaria wanted to make sure everything was perfect for her favorite client, knowing that despite his calm, he was nervous about presenting Emery to the world on such a large scale. “Pick one,” he says, handing them to her. “Why can’t I see the dress? It’s not like our wedding day or anything.”
Emery giggles and sighs. “I just thought it would be fun to surprise you. You always know everything,” she hisses quietly when he places her right foot into the bucket of steaming water, “I wanted to see your face when you saw me in it for the first time.”
He picks up her left foot and begins to scrub off the offending purple polish. “I’m sure it will look amazing… It’ll look better on the floor, later tonight.”
She pulls her foot from his hand and gently digs her heel into his crotch. “Mmhmm, it will. I can’t wait for that… These curlers are killing me. Will they get mad if I take them out?” Emery asks.
“Honey, I’m sorry if you felt like you were in training for Miss Congeniality. It’s supposed to be a fun day. Take out the damn curlers if you want. If you don’t like your hair when the team finishes, ask them to do it again or you can always do your quick Elsa braid and still look amazing.”
Removing the curlers, Emery relaxes back into the couch as Chris takes time to give her the full spa treatment at home, removing her polish, massaging her feet and calves, and preparing to paint her toes the color of her choice. The couple spend the quiet time together talking and laughing as Emery shares tales of her youth in local pageants. “Hmph… Chocolate brown? Does this match or correspond with your dress?” Chris asks as he paints her toenails, resting her foot on his knee, which is propped up on the edge of the couch.
“You’ll just have to wait and see, I guess. This is the full treatment, boy, where’d you learn all this?”
“Well, it may shock you, but I have spent time in a spa, getting mani-pedis sometimes too,” he pauses at her giggles and her fake shocked expression. “And, well, girls find it hot. Not that I have a thing for feet, although yours are adorable, but girls like it. And it’s not that hard.”
“Well, Mr. Evans, as long as I am the LAST woman you do this for, I guess I will accept your answer,” she informs him, giving him a wink. “And when your Marvel contract is up, you always have a skill to fall back on to provide for our family.”
“Ha- ha. Very funny,” he states dryly.
Hours later, as Emery gracefully exits the car, Chris is so proud to have her on his arm. He remembers the night he took her to dinner in Savannah and first dreamed of bringing her to the Oscars. She looks better than he even imaged. Just over 5-foot-tall in her heels, she creates a graceful image, a throwback to old style Hollywood in a vintage gold sequined gown with cap sleeves and a high cut neckline. The cut of the dress, backless with a draping shawl, exposes her shoulder blades and dips low across her back, showing her beautifully tanned skin. Up close, Chris can admire the freckles scattered across her shoulder blades from summers growing up near the beach, and he aches to kiss them, to run his hand down her spine and watch her bend to his will. Emery’s red hair shines in a low chignon bun, loosely off to the side, with wisps of curls gathered around her beautifully made up face. Her eyes sparkle and dance, and the glow of the yellow gold earrings on loan from Harry Winston reflect back to the flashing cameras of the press and paparazzi. “You look amazing, babe,” he whispers for the millionth time. “You’re doing great!”
She reaches for his lapel and pulls him close, smiling at the lights flashing, and people yelling, “Chris! Mr. Evans! Mr. Evans! Look over here!” She’s so happy to be by his side and doesn’t care that the whole world is watching. He leans closer to hear her over the crowds. “Remember what you said about the dress looking better on the floor? I feel the same way about that tux! But if you don’t mind, I don’t think I can wait till we get home. I’m thinking the back of the limo later tonight, after all the parties?”
The cameras catch the gut busting laughter as he throws his head back to laugh and a blush creeps up from his collar, spreading across his face. He watches with awe as the lovely Miss Emery Thomas makes her way down the Red Carpet with him to enter the Dolby Theater, flawlessly answering questions and deflecting to him things she doesn’t want to discuss. She shares little about herself, but just enough with her light Southern lilt, that anyone who meets her understands right away why Chris is so taken with her.
As they take their seats together and she rests her hand on his thigh, he considers their first public appearance a success. He nuzzles his beard against the side of her neck, taking in her feminine scent, whispering “I’m gonna hold you to that thought about the limo.”
In her sweetest Southern drawl, she replies, “Oh, honey, it’s not just a thought. It’s a promise.”
Click here for Part 2 “Fairy Tale Endings”
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