*a Chris Evans fan fic*
Chris gets some time away from filming to surprise his wife Emery at their Savannah home. He knows it will be a difficult visit, but home is where he is needed.
Word count: 2481
Drabble inspired by the cover photo in my collection. It was found on Pinterest of actress Rachelle Lafevre, the “faceclaim” for Emery Thomas Evans. Emery has been telling me parts of this story for weeks, and it’s a plot point I’ve known would happen since I began writing their tale in 2015.
Rumors of sightings in Atlanta and Chris’s birthday coming up prompted me to sit down and write this chapter. The thing I’ve always loved about Emery&Chris is the fact that even though he’s a famous movie star, when he’s with Emery, he’s real. And real life shit happens. This is just a step on their path; no matter what happens, they’re together “till the end of the line.”
Warnings: Real life, Marriage, Language, Fluff, pain, loss, tears, depression, angst, fertility issues, insecurities, anxiety, family support
Based on these warnings, if you would like more information on this chapter before reading, please send me a message. I do not want to give away any plot points to the story, but I also don’t want to trigger emotional distress for any of my readers.
Click here to find out more about Emery & Chris!
“Lucy, I’m home!” Chris calls out in a silly voice, reminiscent of an old TV show.. The door bangs open and West’s barks echo through the house; happy her favorite playmate is home.
“Shit,” comes the muttered response from the kitchen.
Dropping his bags at the door, Chris chuckles, grabbing a stack of mail from the shelf on his way past. “Is that any way to treat your returning war hero?”
Emery whirls around quickly stretching her arms wide on the counter to hide what’s behind her.
“Oh, honey. Fuck. Do you gotta come home in costume? I think my panties just burst into flames,” she giggles. “But… but. You gotta go away.” Her mood changes and panic crosses her face. “Go do… something. Go to the mancave and get a beer, or take West for a walk or something.”
“Emery Rose! I have not seen my wife in… in what? Seven days?” He holds up his hands in surrender when she starts waving a spatula at him. “No welcome home kiss? Aren’t you- Em, are you hiding something?”
“Chris, go away! Please!” She begins to pout when he dodges right and left to try to get a look at what she’s hiding on the new island counter.
Tossing the mail onto the table, he moves closer. “What is it? Let me see!” He says, finally grabbing her wrist with the cream covered spatula. He raises it to his mouth and tentatively sticks his tongue on it. “Buttercream. My favorite.”
“Chris! No. Stop. You’ll ruin the surprise,” Emery nearly cries, her eyes welling up.
The handsome movie star freezes in his tracks. “Alright. I’ll stop. If you won’t walk away from whatever it is, then follow me to the living room.”
Still holding her by the wrist he begins to walk out of the room and she follows him, only to have been tricked when he twirls her around to see what she was hiding.
“Oh my God, Em. Really?” He steps forward, his own eyes starting to mist over. “Is that for me?”
“Well, actually no, this one wasn’t for you. It’s a practice cake. I’m still working on getting it down perfect. There’s a bubble in the fondant and-”
The counter is littered with bowls, measuring cups and egg shells. In the center of the mess sits a round cake on a spinning wheel platform, slightly lopsided and only half decorated.
“Emery,” he pulls her close, truly looking at his beautiful wife for the first time since he’d walked through the door of their small Savannah home. It’s theirs now. It’s where they fell in love. He’s not about to let it go. He pushes her red curls back, seeing the flour dusting across her cheeks, covering the cute freckles he loves. “You made me a cake from scratch?”
“Yea, well,” she shrugs. “You told me to find something to take my mind off things. I wanted to surprise you, so I’ve been taking some cake baking and decorating classes.”
“But my birthday is still a few days away…” He says, delivering a faint wisp of a kiss to the tip of her nose, holding her tight and trying to keep the tears at bay.
“I know. This was a practice. I was gonna take it over to Mom and Dad’s tonight so we could sample it. Then next week I was going to make the real one- Susan was going to let me come to their rental house and use the big kitchen there and then I was going to bring it to the set and surprise you. So, surprise!” she giggles, wiping away her tears.
“Robert’s wife?” She nods and he wipes her tear stained cheeks. “Stop crying. The flour and the tears will make a paste on your cheeks… I promise, I’ll still be surprised.”
She taps her fist against his muscular arm. “Fool, you know that’s not why I am crying. I cry all the time; it just won’t stop.”
He holds her tight and let’s the wave of sobs wrack through her little body. Her pain is killing him and there is nothing he can do. “Shh, shh… it’s okay, honey, I’m home now. We got this; we got this.”
When the tears stop, she hiccups a little and reaches behind her for the bowl of frosting. It’s hardened during the short period of time and is no longer useful. “Well, I hope you think it looks good as is, ‘cause I can’t finish it now.”
“It’s perfect, kitten, just like you,” Chris says against her temple. He steps back. “I should have told you I had some time off, but it really came up quick and I wanted to surprise you. You have other plans? A hot date?”
Shaking her head, she wipes her nose on her sleeve. “Just with Mom and Dad. They wanted me to come over for dinner; he was gonna grill burgers, but I can cancel and we-”
“No, no. Actually nothing sounds better right now than a real burger and a beer. Why don’t you go get the shower going and I’ll give them a call and tell Mom to cook for one extra?”
He hides his concern for her, not collapsing in the kitchen chair until he hears her enter the bedroom. Banging his fist on the table he holds in his own despair, trying to be brave for his wife. But right now, he could really use a dose of Mom and Dad too, and his own are too far away. He punches in the familiar number on the keypad and the Southern twang on the other end instantly brightens his mood. “Hey, Mom. Got room for one more at dinner?” he asks quietly, trying to keep it together.
His mother-in-law, Anita, instantly knows his chest is tight and he’s holding in his own feelings. “Oh, Chris. Of course. There’s always room for one more. Sounds like the whole gang might be here; is that too much?”
He shakes his head, digging in his pocket for a pack of cigarettes, wishing he hadn’t given them up for Lent at his new bride’s insistence. It’s an old habit but he really could use one now. She’s not even Catholic, and he doesn’t practice anymore, but she’d required they both make one positive change in their lives to remember the season of rebirth. He rolls his eyes and smiles. “I don’t know, Mom, what do you think? I… I came home because I may have to work hard, long hours the days right around my birthday. I mean, they gave me time off when I needed it, but that messed up some schedules for other people and now I feel like I’m paying for it.”
“Chris, honey, you can’t control any of that. If anything, this is just a lesson in how little control any of us really have. The good Lord works in ways we don’t understand and-”
His gut twists and Chris interrupts. “I really can’t over the phone, Mom. I haven’t been home in two weeks; we had a great time when Emery was in Atlanta with me last week; but if you don’t think Em can handle the family all together, she and I can do something else for dinner tonight.”
“Nonsense, son. I think she’ll be okay; it’ll be good for you both. It’s actually been easier on her since she finally put it out in the open and started talking.”
“Alright, Mom. Hey, did you know she’s been learning to bake cakes?”
“Oh, child, let’s hope this one is better than the ones a few weeks ago. They were like lead bricks in my stomach for hours,” she teases.
Hanging up the phone, Chris turns to admire the blue cake with white stars. He can see the red frosting mixed and hardened into a bowl and smiles at the design she must have planned. The outer layer of frosting is tough, but stabbing the knife through it, the inside is edible and he carries the bowl and knife with him to the room.
He’s surprised to find her laying on their bed, playing with her wedding ring.
He sucks in a breath and sits on the bed next to her. Offering her a dab of frosting, she huffs and shakes her head ‘no.’ They sit in silence and he continues to lick the frosting from the end of the butter knife, humming his delight. Emery stares at her ring, rolling it in her fingers, her elbow now rested on his knee.
“Chris? Are you ever sorry we got married?”
“Oh, hell, babe. How can you even ask that?” Wiping his hand over his face in frustration, he then pulls his shirt out of the waist of his pants, wanting more room to move. She continues to stare at something only she can see, avoiding his eye contact. “Emery, I know these first six months have been tougher than we thought, and we never expected any of this. You were sick most of the winter, your grandmother’s passing and then… Well, and then... “ His throat chokes on the words and he can’t bring himself to say them. “It was just a lot of stress on you; on us. But no. I still know marrying you was the best decision I’ve ever made in my whole damn life.”
Leaning forward, he places the bowl on his bedside table. He kicks off his shoes and lays down next to her. On his side, he watches her, thinking of the freckles on her face and how he adores them. Her long lashes flutter closed and she rolls her head to look at him.
“What if that was our one shot? What if something isn’t right and we can’t have kids; would you be sorry then; if I can’t give you what you want?” Her voice shakes and he can barely hear her whispered words.
His hand takes hers and he carefully pries the ring from her grasp, sliding it back on her finger where it should always be. Where it will always stay. He kisses her hand gently. “I married you for YOU, not what you can give me someday… You know the doctors said we’re both fine. All the antibiotics and steroids you took when you were sick; we weren’t even trying. I mean, how often does the pill fail?”
Holding his hand tight, she scoffs. “Are you asking for a statistical lesson?”
Placing his hand on her hip, he pulls her close. “No, kitten, I’m just begging you not to sink into it too low. All those medicines in your system; that baby just wasn’t a fighter like his mama. We’ll really try again when you’re ready. And you know if it doesn’t work, there are so many other options for kids,” he sighs.
“You’re right; I know. It’s just… Is it crazy to miss something the size of a peanut? I mean, he wasn’t even kicking yet. But he was a part of us, you know?” Tears escape her eyes and she tries to wipe them away.
Wrapping his arms around his girl, he rolls her over on top of him, squeezing her tight, trying to hold her together. He cradles her head to his chest as the salty tears gather on his shirt collar. He loves that she thinks of their lost child as a him, although at only a nine weeks along, they had no way of knowing the gender. His wife is always so strong and tough, a steel magnolia, so he finds her insecurities unsettling and struggles with his own pain and sadness at the loss. They’ve talked about it, and therapy has been good for them both. He doesn’t want to be an ass and just tell her to ‘move on.’ He’s hoping in time this pain will be less and she’ll start to be more herself. But time and patience is all he can give her now.
“I understand, sweetheart. I feel the same. Like there’s nothing to physically mourn, but there’s a whole in my chest.”
She sniffles again and he’s pretty sure she wiped her nose on his shirt. “You know, all this has been rough. I picked cake baking because it reminds me of something MawMaw Dalia used to always say. She said havin’ kids was like baking cakes. Everything has to be balanced just right for the cake to rise and not to open the oven door too much, ‘cause the cake knows what it’s supposed to do. She said the same with kids, balance them right and they’ll grow up with what they need, and they’ll rise to do what they should.”
Chris can’t really wrap his head around the Southern analogy, so he stays quiet, simply running his fingers through her long red curls.
“So I keep baking cakes for practice and taking them to the schools where I work. Teachers love to hear there’s food in the workroom. And I keep telling myself our cake just wasn’t balanced this time. I cry a lot and then I make another cake.”
“Whenever you’re ready, we can practice again, making our ‘baby cake.’ I’d really like to have lots of practice,” he laughs. “Lots of it.”
Pulling away from him, she wipes her tear stained face for what seems like the thousandth time. Looking down into his beautiful blue eyes, she can’t help but laugh with him. Her teary, red shot eyes rest against his suit and she cocks her eyebrow. “Well, seeing as how you came home dressed like Steve, maybe later tonight you could convince me to help you rehearse?”
“Oh no,” he chuckles, relieved to have lifted her even just slightly from her sadness. “Tonight, I’m having sex with my wife, if she’ll let me; not Steve. I mean I know we like that role play every now and then, but tonight it’s just us. After dinner with your family, of course.”
“Mr. Evans, I still didn’t get that shower. I got lost in my thoughts. How about you join me, and help wash all my troubles away.”
“Well, Mrs. Evans, I think that sounds like a lovely plan! And then some of that cake? It’s looks amazing, and I don’t think I can wait till dinner.”
Sliding down from his body and rolling off the bed, she stands and pulls her flour dusted tank top over her head, tossing it to him. Remembering the night she first told him she loved him, a thought jumps to her mind. “You always did want dessert first; come on. Let’s clean up, Jelly Bean, so we can get dirty.” She winks playfully, a lift to her spirits as she runs off to their bathroom, squealing when he finally catches up to her and spins her around in his big, strong arms.
Author’s Note: R.I.P. “MawMaw” Nadalia- March 3, 2017. Author’s license was taken from something I once said to my husband about baking cakes and raising children, but was given here in memory of my grandmother.
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