Something to Be Thankful For- Part 18
Actor Chris Evans receives a Thanksgiving surprise! Part 18 of the “Georgia On My Mind” Series
Warnings: None, Fluff, Language
Word Count 3275
Previous Chapter “Strength to Say Goodbye” Part 17
Walking through the airport, Emery still can’t believe the crowds. She can’t believe she’s in Boston. She can’t believe the generosity of her family. She can’t believe it is Thanksgiving Day, and she hasn’t had any turkey or potatoes. She never would have believed in a million years that she would be surprised with a last minute plane ticket to visit her boyfriend, actor Chris Evans, and meet his family for Thanksgiving weekend.
She finds the place her dad told her to look for, and begins to scan the crowds. People are rushing everywhere, trying to find their bags, catch connecting flights, and reuniting with friends and family. She turns when she hears someone call her name. Her face breaks into a large grin when she sees Scott Evans, Chris’s younger brother, walking towards her.
“Man, you are short!” The handsome man scoops her into a giant bear hug. “So you’re the little thing that’s turned my brother into a giant mess?! Thank God you’re here, because he’s making us all miserable,” he says, putting her back down on the ground.
“Oh, Scott, it’s so nice to meet you! Thanks for coming out to pick me up; I really hope it wasn’t too much trouble.”
Emery can’t stop smiling. It’s been over week since she’s seen Chris, and she’s been just as miserable. Knowing she will be reunited with Chris soon makes her bounce with excitement.
“Yea, braving the crowds on their way to Black Friday shopping and the airport crowd is nothing compared to the fun at the Evans’ house since he got in from LA yesterday. Kid, I’ve never seen him like this before; you’ve really got him tied up in knots. Good for you. It’s about time he had someone to put him in his place, but man, is he a crab ass.”
“Is he really that bad?”
Scott takes her bag, and says, “You’ll see. And it got worse this morning when you quit answering your phone because you were on the plane. Come on, Mom needs us to stop and get his favorite ice cream.”
Emery laughs, “That is bad. Sorry.”
“Oh, well, I heard you cried your eyes out watching the Kimmel interview and the trailer on a constant loop yesterday.”
Emery laughs, “I know! I couldn’t even enjoy the biggest moment in fangirl history! All I could think about was how much I missed him… So, let’s get this ice cream, and get to your mom’s house fast! On the way, you fill me in on the details of how everyone worked out this surprise.” She takes his arm with ease, as though they have known each other for years.
Scott shakes his head warmly at the little red head. He quickly can see why his older brother is so taken with the beautiful woman. She has an air of class and quiet reserve about her, real Southern charm, but Scott is pretty sure she is a fireball hiding underneath that surface. He thinks it will be fun to tease her this weekend, and get a rise out of his brother. He’ll just have to be careful so he doesn’t get in trouble with Mom for teasing too much.
Most of the Evans family crowds around the kitchen table and counter to meet Emery for the first time and listen to Scott’s exaggerated tales of battling Boston airport traffic on Thanksgiving night. He has his sisters practically in tears from laughing.
Chris’s mom, Lisa, and Emery have already had a few quiet minutes alone to talk. Lisa already feels great affection for this young woman who so obviously loves her son. Shanna scoops up bowls of ice cream, and sets them out on the counter. Carly gets out spoons and napkins while Scott and Ryan, Carly’s husband, raid the fridge for turkey leftovers. “Chris! Come to the kitchen!” Lisa yells. “We’re all having a snack.”
“I’m not hungry!” his voice sounds from the other room. Just hearing his voice causes Emery’s heart to sing. The girls smile at one another knowingly when they see happiness break across the red head’s face.
She walks to the doorway, and yells at her oldest son again, “Chris! Come sit with us!”
“Mom! I’m watching a movie!”
Emery can actually hear him whining and her smile grows wider. She feels like this could be an exchange Lisa and Chris have had many times over the years.
“I don’t feel like being nice; please just leave me alone!” Chris continues to whine.
Emery walks over to where Lisa stands, putting her hand on the older woman’s arm. “Are the kids around?”
“No, they’ve already been down to sleep for awhile,” she responds, with a question in her voice.
“Good because I don’t want them to hear this. Miss Lisa, I’ve been in your home less than 30 minutes, so please don’t let what I am about to say change your first impression of me, okay?” She waits to see Lisa nod her head in agreement and confusion.
Emery steps slightly into the darkened room, sensing the rest of the family crowding around behind her. She doesn’t even raise her voice, but just says, loud and firm, “Dammit, Evans. Quit feeling sorry for yourself and get your whiny ass into the kitchen. We’re eating ice cream.”
Teacher voice?! Chris’s head pops over the back of the couch. “Emery?!”
She laughs when he vaults over the back of the couch, like the superhero he is. Within three large strides, he crosses the room and sweeps her up in his arms. Happy tears run down her face while he spins her around and kisses her wildly. His large hands hold tight to her face, almost like he thinks she’s a vision, that he’s just imagining her there. Emery feels complete now that she’s back at his side. She uses her lips to say what she can’t put into words right now.
“Enough, get a room!” shouts Scott, and the family goes back to their late night snack preparations, leaving the couple to continue their reunion privately. Chris notices his mom standing in the kitchen in the spot where she thinks she can’t be seen from the living room. When they were younger, they referred to it as her “spy spot.” They always knew she was there. He knows his mother is just happy for him, happy for them, so he doesn’t hide away from her. He wants his mom to know how special Emery is to him.
Emery’s heart soars as she gently wipes the tears from his cheeks. “You’re bubbling,” she laughs.
She squeezes him a little tighter, and whines when he lets loose of her. He bends down and pulls out a step stool from under the side table and puts it in front of her. She laughs and steps up on it, grateful for his nephews and their need to climb on all things high. Chris smiles, seeing over her shoulder that his mom and Shanna are watching and laughing too. She climbs another step, effectively putting them at eye level to one other. She pulls Chris in closer, tugging at his shirt and flicks her tongue across his tattoo on his collar, her favorite greeting reserved just for him.
“What? How? How did you get here?” he asks, the last of his happy tears wiped away and joy returning to his smoky voice.
“My dad and Scott worked it out on Facebook somehow, and told your mom. I guess they’ve been planning it for a few days. I showed up to work at the shelter, and dad said I had to leave because I was depressing the homeless people!”
She continues to laugh through her tears, which haven’t seemed to stop yet. “He drove me to the airport, and here I am! Scott picked me up, we got your ice cream, and I cursed at you in front of your mother. Oh, my god, I cursed at you in front of your mother!” A red blush creeps over her face, and she buries her face in his shoulder.
He chuckles, bending to whisper in her ear. “I missed you!”
He pauses for a moment to smell her hair. Even under the smells from the airport and the shelter, he can still smell strawberries, and the scent that is distinctly Emery. “I think she’ll forgive you. I haven’t been a pleasant person since I got in from LA.”
“So I’ve heard…” Just then, the aroma of leftovers from the kitchen greets her nose, and her stomach growls. “I haven’t eaten all day. Screw that ice cream you are always raving about. I want turkey!”
He kisses her again, before picking her up and pushing her into the kitchen. He motions for her to sit at the counter and he starts to prepare her plate. “Warm or cold?” he asks as he points at the remnants of the leftover bird.
“Cold, and toast the bread?”
Shanna offers her a water, and she settles in while the family chats about their schedule for tomorrow. It seems as though they had already hit some sales earlier in the evening, while they waited for her to arrive. Carly and Shanna plan to return to the toy store at midnight to pick up some things for the children, and invite Emery to go along. She eats her sandwich and leftover mashed potatoes while Chris stands next to her, gently rubbing her back, feeling for the first time that THIS is what it means to be home. To be surrounded by food and laughter, with the people you love.
While Emery and the girls get ready to go battle the masses at midnight for the great holiday deals, Chris pulls his mother aside. She’s been watching all night, joining in the banter, but being somewhat quiet. Observant. Chris needs to hear from her now.
He shouldn’t have worried. Lisa has nothing but kind words to say, and expresses her joy that Chris has finally found someone who makes him so happy. “I wasn’t sure, but I thought I saw it on Kimmel. Even with Robert trying to tease you about the ladies, there was just a calm over you. A peace. It was so nice to see, and she does that. That’s the effect Emery has on you?”
“Mom, I’ve never felt so at home in my own kitchen until tonight, if that’s what you mean. Is the guest room ready?” he asks sheepishly.
“Well, yes. All the Christmas stuff for decorating on Saturday is on the bed… I just assumed? And, well, you’re an adult now? I wasn’t going to make you follow the same rules I had when you were in your twenties and you brought girls for weekend visits.”
Lisa really can’t believe what her son is implying… She watches Chris with a quizzical expression on her face.
“Mom, Emery is a little old-fashioned. I think she’d feel more comfortable if the guest room was ready.”
“Christopher Robert Evans! Do you mean to tell me you’ve been dating this girl for almost 2 months, and you haven’t slept with her?! Well, I just like this girl more and more.” Lisa giggles at the pained expression on her son’s face.
“God, Mom! Do you have to be so Italian?! The whole neighborhood can hear you!”
“Well, good! They should know some girls still wait these days!”
Chris shakes his head, chuckling, “Fine. Whatever. Just don’t let Scott know…”
“Too late!” is heard from a room down at the end of the hall. Lisa chuckles and wanders off to get the guest room ready.
“Fuck,” Chris groans with frustration.
Scott comes around the corner, and says, “Apparently, not. Let the girls go shopping. If we’re golfing in the morning with dad, you need sleep. Or maybe a cold shower.”
“I’m tired of cold showers, man,” Chris confides to his younger brother.
“I don’t know how you’re doing it, brother. She is hot. Even a gay man can see that!” Scott punches his brother in the arm, and runs off to share his newly discovered information with Shanna.
Chris finds Carly and Emery talking teacher stuff in the living room, bundling up to go out in the cold Boston night. He grabs a scarf from the table for Emery, and pulls her close. They kiss and talk quietly for a few minutes. He tells her when they start to head home, to call and wake him up and he will show her to her room. She cocks her eyebrow into a question, and he explains he asked his mom to fix the guest room.
“I just want you to be comfortable and not to feel any pressure…” Chris shrugs his shoulders. “You got bonus points with mom? But, on the downside, Scott overheard me; he knows. I’ve been living like a monk.”
“You fail. I guess you have to turn in your man card… Just tell him you weren’t man enough to get me in bed.”
“You are evil. Do you have everything? Here, I bet you didn’t even get to the bank,” and Chris pulls out his wallet and hands her a $100 bill.
Emery knows Carly is secretly watching, even though she pretends to be focused on her phone and she feels uncomfortable. As the oldest sister herself, she knows Carly will be watching her every move, and waiting to pass judgment if she doesn’t feel Emery is a good match for her brother. Emery knows it won’t be as easy to win Carly over.
“Evans, I don’t need money,” she says and pushes it back towards him.
“I know you don’t. But I also know you said part of your holiday tradition was Black Friday shopping, and buying toys for the kids at the shelter. So take this.”
“That’s really nice of you, but since I wasn’t going with Mom and the girls, I gave them my money, and they’re buying stuff for me,” Emery explains.
Chris smiles at her generosity and big heart. “Fine, then, take this and buy $100 more. We’ll drop off whatever you buy at the hospital this weekend.”
“Oh, Chris, I would love that!”
Chris always brightens when he talks about the kids he meets at the hospital and Emery is so honored he’s willing to share this with her. She feels like her heart just can’t take one more piece of happiness right now.
“Wait. You left from the shelter this morning and went straight to the airport? What about a suitcase?”
“Dad said Mackinzie packed it for me; why?”
Chris lets out one of his loud, boisterous laughs, and Carly tries to shush him before he wakes the children. He reaches in his wallet and hands her more money.
“What is this for?” she inquires, confused by him.
“You’ll need clothes. You know that suitcase is full of nothing but Victoria Secret!”
“Fuck. I bet you’re right!” Emery gladly accepts this cash handout. “New clothes aren’t in the budget. I’ll make her pay you back. She and Scott will be dangerous together sometime, won’t they?”
As if by magic, Scott appears at the mention of his name. “Who could I be dangerous with?”
Emery explains that her sister delights in teasing her the same way he seems to like to tease Chris. Scott says, “Well, it doesn’t sound like I’m the only one that teases him…”
Lisa isn’t even in the room, and she still knows when to reprimand her youngest son.
Emery laughs and blushes. “Why aren’t you going shopping with us?”
“No can do, pretty lady. I’ve got to get my beauty rest. Tradition. Black Friday golfing in the morning with Dad,” Scott explains.
Emery smiles at Chris holding her tight around the waist. He can’t seem to wipe the grin from his face that has been there since the moment he climbed over the couch. “So you will wake up early for football, basketball or golf, but any other time you need up, you’re a miserable bear?”
Scott slaps his brother on the back and says, “Chris just likes playing with his balls in the mornings.”
Emery turns red again from the blush that creeps down her neck. She hides her face in Chris’s chest. She is rocked by the laughter exploding from her boyfriend.
Carly says, “Oh, Scott, that is terrible,” and reaches to grab him as he runs away when he sees Lisa enter the room. Chris is laughing so hard, he can barely catch his breath.
“God, I missed being at home,” he finally says when the mirth dies down.
Emery looks to the floor when she feels something brush against her leg. Chris’s niece is pushing between them, carrying her Avengers blanket, and rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.
“Unca Chwis. You too woud. You ‘ake me wup,” the sweet little girl whines.
“See what you did? You woke her up. Ryan’s asleep. I’m going shopping. She’s all yours now, “Unca Chwis,” Carly says woefully to her younger brother.
Chris sits down on the floor, pulling his niece into his lap. “You go. Have fun, I got this.”
Emery pauses to blink back her thoughts. Chris, with a dark haired, blue eyed little girl. Not quite the picture she often finds floating in her head. She always pictures a red haired little girl. But the sight at her feet now is just as powerful, causing her ovaries to explode.
Emery squats down next to the pair. “This, I would love to see, but I’ve promised the girls to go shopping.” She caresses the side of Chris’s face, gently scratching his beard. She swears he would purr at this if he could, and he turns his head to kiss her palm.
The little girl sleepily yawns, leaning into the warmth of her uncle’s chest. Her blue eyes search the stranger’s face, and says, “You pwetty. You wook wike Awiew.”
Carly laughs. “That’s it. The Little Mermaid. He always says Belle is his favorite, but it was really Ariel. Oh, my god, Emery, you’re his Disney Princess!”
Emery laughs, thinking back to the night Chris met her family and her sister spilled the beans about her Steve Rogers in uniform fantasy, and Chris overheard. “Who’s busted now?” she asks as she tosses her bright red curls over her shoulder.
“Aww, thank you, sweetie,” she says as she kisses the top of the little girl’s head. The sweet smell of toddler overwhelms her, and again she feels her insides pop. She kisses Chris goodbye, and he chuckles.
“I know what you’re thinking,” he said. His niece cuddled in his arms is having quite the effect on his lovely girlfriend.
She whispers in his ear, so only he can hear, “That’s because you’re thinking the same thing, too, you ass.”
She ruffles his hair and leaves with Carly and Shanna for Black Friday shopping
About thirty minutes later, Emery’s phone buzzes. She opens it to find a message, only a picture. On a bed are the contents of her suitcase. Except for her make-up and hair items, sure enough, the only thing her sister packed for her are items from Victoria’s Secret and condoms.
Next Chapter “Late Night Visit” Pt 19
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