An Open Book
Actor Chris Evans meets with an OFC/Reader who wins a radio contest for a date with him, but plans change because of winter weather
Word Count: 1350
A special thanks to @ek823, who inspired this with her #FantasyFriday submission on @tsfrce
Part 1 The Winner Is…
Part 2 Boston’s Best
“THAT would be my younger brother, Scott, “Chris groans.
“I have one just like him at home,” you giggle.
“Oh, good, so I don’t have to explain him?”
“No, I think I have him figured out.” We both laugh together over the shared grief of having younger brothers. “Oh, my goodness! Look at you!”
The hallway is lined with family photos and Chris stands back, watching you. You soak them all in looking from photo to photo, smiling at the Disney photos, school pictures and family Christmases. He points out a few to you and shares some of the stories behind them. You like the way he steps behind you, not quite touching you as he shows you different details. It feels intimate, like he’s inviting you to more than just his home for dinner. You close your eyes to get a grip. He’s hungry. He missed his family. He’s just being polite. This isn’t a real date.
But, damn, you wish it was, because it seems to be going so well!
Smells from the kitchen waft across your nose, garlic bread and roasting tomatoes, and he pulls you to the kitchen. He introduces you to everyone, simply as a friend, but you catch the look he exchanges with his mother. You hear him tell his brother in law about the patch of ice on the walkway and watch with smiles as he tumbles to the floor piled under his nephews and niece. His sister, Carly offers you a beer, but you shake your head no, accepting instead the water bottle she offers. A beer would calm your nerves, but you really feel you need to keep your wits about you.
“Mrs. Evans, you have a lovely home! Thank you for letting me crash your dinner tonight! What can I do to help?” you ask as you wash up, prepared to help.
She smiles at your offer and hands you two baskets of garlic bread. “Dear, it’s all done. We were just waiting on you two to get here.”
Each of the women take an item and carry things to the dining room. You follow behind and Chris carries your water and his beer. Dinner conversation is light and fun, and reminds you of Sunday dinners with your family. There is talk of board games after dinner, before desserts and coffee. Lisa starts to explain that its tradition, but Chris interrupts, “She gets it Mom; she’s Italian too.”
You smile at this, and notice Chris is loosening up, relaxing and talking more. When he starts to get another beer, his mother scolds him, reminding him he has to drive you back to the hotel later. Scott guffaws loudly at this, and you try to hide your blush. By now, it’s come out in conversation that you were the winner of the dinner date contest, and the family is having a good time teasing you both.
Shortly after the table is cleared the men are in the kitchen, cleaning and doing the dishes while the women lean against the counter watching and talking. Lisa pats your arm gently as she asks you a few more questions about your work and family. You share with her that Chris said he was taking you to the best Italian place in Boston, and you are sure that he was correct. She beams with pride, and promises to share the meatball recipe with you. One of the little boys comes running into the kitchen, all bundled up in his snow gear, and his mother shouts, “Just what do you think you are doing, young man?!”
“Mooo—om! You promised when it snowed and Uncle Chris was home, we could play in the snow together. Well look! It’s snowing right now! Let’s go!” He tugs on his mother’s hands and she looks to her husband and her brother.
Chris smiles at you, “You up for a snowball fight?”
“Sure! Sounds like fun!”
Chris’s sisters go gather warm clothes for the little ones, and Scott issues a few challenges to his brother and brother in law. Chris looks you over and says, “You aren’t going to be warm enough dressed like that. Come with me.”
He takes you by the hand and pulls you up the back set of stairs. You pause at the doorway, seeing the carvings into the wood work and the labels of each of the children’s ages and heights- Chris and his siblings. You notice the other side of the doorway has the same markings for the grandchildren. You long to have a house full of such history one day, and it makes you happy knowing Chris provided this for his mother. Seeing him with his family makes him seem real and you’ve forgotten your nerves from earlier in the evening.
The stairs are narrow and he has you walk up first. Halfway up the steps, you realize this means he is watching your ass. Oh, God, please let it look good! When you reach the top of the stairs, you stop walking, not knowing where to go, and he runs right into you, nearly pushing you over. For the second time that night, you find yourself in his arms as he catches you from a fall. Your hands land on his hard, broad chest, and you pull back quickly, glancing up at him. “Watch where you’re going!” you quietly admonish him, trying to hide the shortness of your breath. Something flashes through his bright blue eyes, but it’s gone before you can identify its message.
“Sorry,” he says, pointing to the door on the left. You step in the room, and choke a bit, realizing it’s his bedroom. You stand just to the inside of the room, taking it all in. You sigh deeply, and as he riffles through the closet, you begin to walk around the room, gently touching some of the things on the shelves- photos from school plays, awards and medals from high school, and Marvel memorabilia. You turn your head to read the spines on the book covers and find one of your favorite classics among the best sellers. You pull it out to look at it, and see his handwritten notes in the margins. You feel like you are getting a peek at who he really is, and you are amazed at the depths behind the front he shows to the public.
You continue to look through the book, smiling, realizing you had many of the same thoughts as you have read the book, many times, at different points in your life. You don’t realize he is back in the room until he coughs, pulling you away from your thoughts. “Which book?” he curiously asks.
Turning the book cover to him, you hide your smile behind it and your heart turns somersaults. If you didn’t already love this man, this public persona you’ve gotten to know over the years, you would fall in love with him now, simply over a book on his shelf. He reaches his hand out, taking the book, and handing you a pile of clothes. For the first time in the evening, in the closed space, you can smell him. He smells better than that damn candle on your bedside. You fervently wish there was a way to bottle that scent, very masculine, outdoorsy, with a slight hint of musk. “I think these might fit; at least they can layer over what you are wearing and keep you warm.” He addresses the book. “I always come back to this one. It’s different every time I read it, and always has a new lesson for me at whatever stage I’m at in my life at that point.”
“I know exactly what you mean…,” you quietly agree.
There is a pounding in the hallway as Scott runs along, yelling “Hurry up, losers!” and the moment is lost.
Chris grabs a sweat shirt off the bed and leaves the room, “Can you find your way back downstairs?”
“I think I can manage. I’ll send up flares if I need to,” you joke.
Part 4 Cinderella’s Curfew
NOTE: @ek823 Just accept this as a thank you for being my first “fan,” the first random reader who reached out to let me know you loved my character, Emery Thomas, in Georgia on My Mind, as much as I do!
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