Sunday with Grandad

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Sunday with Grandad

By avenger-nerd-mom

Chris and Emery visit her ailing grandfather. The old man gives them marital advice.

Warnings: language, fluff

Word Count: 2292

Get to know Emery and Chris in their novella Georgia on My Mind

July 2018

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Chris smiles down into the car, helping her get settled and handing her the tray of cupcakes to hold. She reaches up and pulls down on his tie. “This will make him happy.”

“I sure as hell hope so, cuz if Ilaria saw me now, she’d totally give up, thinking I’m a lost cause,” he says, smoothing down the striped tie from the mid-eighties.

Emery rolls her eyes, moving her feet into position on the floorboard. “She’s seen you in the track suits you still wear. Fratboy wanna-be. She gave up hope a long time ago. Why do you think Seb gets all the modeling gigs?”

“Because he’s a pretty boy,” he chuckles, slamming the door closed and tapping the hood as he walks around the front. Loosening the tie, he crawls into the driver’s seat, already sweating in the hot Georgia, early morning sun. “I’m sweatin’ like a sinner in church.”

“Oh honey, bless your heart! You’re pickin’ up some of these Southern phrases!” She praises, stretching out her own drawl.

Turning the car out of the the little drive, he angles onto the empty road. “Dear God, our children will have the most fucked up accents one day,” he laughs, clapping his hand to his chest.

She swats his arm. “Shut up. They’ll be adorable.” Watching in the rearview mirror, she shifts in her seat. “Did I ever tell you about the student I had that spoke with a British accent the first five weeks of school? When I met his parents, I was so shocked to find out they were American!”

Chris chuckles, turning left at the stop sign. “So what? He was just fakin’ it?”

“Yea, he thought it would be cool.” She explains, pointing out a pothole in the road. “He’d been to a study thing at the Harry Potter theme park for a week, and came back with a British accent.” Emery shrugs. “Girls at school fell for it.”

“Smart kid,” he mutters, “why didn’t I think of that?”

“You were a little shit in class, weren’t you?” She asks, peering at him over the top of her sunglasses.

He smirks. “You know those old pictures, with my long floppy hair? It hid my eyes. I slept in class. A lot. Tara would lend me her notes, and Carly helped me figure out stuff I didn’t get. I wasn’t what you’d call an ‘exemplary student.’” He wiggles his eyebrows at her, leaving just one up, in a high arch. “None of my teachers looked as hot as you.” He pats her thigh, squeezing above the knee, exposed in her summer sundress.

She purses her lip and raises her brow in return. “Turn left up here,” she says, with a tilt of her chin. She squints. “You’d have been a kid I would convince to stay after school. You’d avoid it for weeks, and then once you came, and saw the atmosphere, you’d stay. You’d come whenever you didn’t have play practice.” Emery rests her head back against the seat.

He squeezes her leg again, before returning both hands to the wheel to make the turn. “You miss it, don’t you?”

“They had teacher stuff in the dollar bins at Target yesterday,” she pouts. “I bought a few things, but lecturing at conferences and helping to set up after school programs isn’t the same as having my own class, my own kids.”

He cocks his head. “Kitten, if you really want back in the classroom, just say so. You don’t have to go to Toronto with me this fall. I’ll be back for Christmas. I don’t know how much Marvel needs me for the press tour next Spring.” He sighs, pulling into a parking space in front of the old Southern brick home. “I feel like for the first time, we can breathe. Make our own plans. Have a little freedom.”

She bites her lip, removing her seat belt. “I know. I feel it too. No, I love what I do, advocating for good teachers and consulting with districts to make things better.” She sits still when he motions her to stay. He dashes quickly around the front of the car, straightening his tie, and she picks up the conversation where it left off when he opens the door. “I’m always gonna miss the classroom.” She winks, handing him the tray of cupcakes. “Maybe I’ll go back someday, but for now, this is the right thing.”

He balances the treats in one hand, reaching for her purse as she swivels around in the seat, putting one sandaled foot and one braced foot down on the ground. Grabbing the door frame above the window, she pulls herself up. “Stupid boot,” she mutters, balancing and pushing away, stepping awkwardly around the door. She glares at the front steps.

“I can go inside and get a wheelchair?” Chris offers, jumping out of her reach when she swings out to hit him.

“Fuckin’ hate you,” she giggles. “This is your fault, you know? I wouldn’t be in this boot, have tendonitis if it wasn’t for you.”

He laughs, smiling at a nurse who comes out to to greet them. Emery makes small talk with the young woman, passing off the sugary treats to her. Chris takes his wife’s arm and gently guides her up the steps. “Tap dance lessons to impress me didn’t have to turn into some imaginary, wild audition for ‘Dancing with the Stars.’” He reminds her.

“But I was having so much fun,” she stops on the step, pouting. “That would be something, to be on that show.” She shrugs. “I was just having fun dancing for you, and the family talent show. Besides,” she runs her hands down over her waist, smoothing out her sundress. “I lost all that weight that had been bugging me. It was addicting!”

“It was an expensive emergency room visit.”

She hits his chest. “Cheapskate,” she teases.

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Pausing in front of the big, heavy wooden doors, she sighs. “I used to hate this place. When I was little, I had a great aunt here, and it always seemed so scary.” She scratches under her nose as Chris pulls up the door and a blast of air conditioning greets them. “It makes me sad he’s here.”

Chris squeezes her arm, “It’s better here for him, Em. He started a fire; someone could have been hurt.”

“I know, I know,” she whispers as he crosses to reception and announces they are there to visit Grant Thomas, her paternal grandfather. Chris and the nurse chat briefly, before he turns to her, pointing the way down the hall.

“They said he’s had his nap today, and should be awake, reading,” he explains quietly as they pass through the hallways. Some residents sit in their doorways, calling out as they pass by, or sit and play games in little alcoves. Before reaching the room, a nurse stops them, handing them a small plate with three of the cupcakes Emery made. She nods her thanks as Chris reaches his hand up to knock on the door.

“What? What’s that? Who’s there?” an old, tired voice calls out.

Emery caresses the side of Chris’s bearded cheek and pushes the door open. Loudly she announces, “It’s me, Emery, Grandad. I brought Chris today; we wanted to visit awhile.”

The couple step into the crowded space, smelling of tobacco, menthol and vanilla. Chris smiles at the plug-in in the outlet and fights the urge to loosen his tie in the heated room. The old man, weathered and tanned, his skin aged from the sun, is wrapped in a crocheted quilt with a sweatshirt resting around his shoulders.

“Who? Who is it? Turn up the light,” the man commands.

Emery steps forward, resting the cupcakes on the table beside the chair, turning on the lamp. “Grandad, it’s me, Emery. You’ve got it too dark in here.” She leans down and kisses the man on his cheek, feeling the slight stubble. “Can I open the shades? I wanna see you better.”

“The big bad wolf come to visit, eh?” He chuckles, crooking his finger and pointing at Chris. “You’re too damn tall.” He motions his hand for Chris to lower himself.

Chris squats by his chair, reaching out his hand for a shake. “Good to see you again, sir. Emery’s talked all week about coming out to see you!”

Mr. Thomas drops his hand, looking back at Emery, patting the arm of his chair. “Sit, sit.” He looks up at her, caressing back her long hair, running his aged and weak fingers through the ends. “Just like your grandmother’s,” he chokes. “Who’s the fella? It’s not that bloke from the bank is it?”

Emery blushes. “No, Grandaddy, it’s Chris. My husband. The actor? Captain America?”

“Captain, you say?” He points at the photos on the shelf, and Chris stands to retrieve one. “I was in World War II, son. You don’t look old enough to have been a Captain. What’s your unit?”

Chris sighs, having had this conversation with the old man before. He and Emery decided it was easiest for him to answer as Cap might, and the two trade war stories, real and fake, for a good part of the afternoon. After sharing the cupcakes, the man dozes off for a few minutes, jumping awake when he snores too loudly, scaring himself. Emery and Chris have a good laugh, and he joins in with them. “Son, what’s your last name again?”

“Evans, sir,” Chris offers.

“Grant Evans, has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?” He kicks out his foot, tapping the side of Emery’s boot. “So when’s that gonna be? I wanna be alive to hold my great- grandson. And you aren’t getting any younger, peanut!” He guffaws.

“Granddad!” Emery scoffs, blushing again and smoothing down her dress.

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He turns his attention to Chris. “What’s wrong, soldier? Shooting blanks?” He glowers over his glasses. “Quit wasting your testosterone growing that damn beard and tell your swimmers to do their job, dammit.”

Chris bites back a laugh as Emery hides behind the photo album she was looking through. He salutes the older man. “Yes, sir. I’ll take her right home, and we’ll get right on that after we study scriptures tonight.”

“Good. Good Christian man. Nothing funny about that, no sir.” Mr. Thomas sits up proud. “All my babies been baptized. Raised by good Christian parents. You’ll be no different.” He points at both of them. “None of this nonsense about spoiling a child. You lead by example. Live the Golden Rule. Save your money. Visit Vegas once a year. Nothing too fancy,” he advises. “Simple. Like that tie. Good lookin’ tie, son.”

Emery smiles as Chris runs his hand proudly over the tie her grandfather had given him for his Broadway premiere.

“Sounds like a good life, Granddad,” Emery says wistfully, nodding at the nurse when she quietly enters the room. “It looks like it’s time for you to get down to dinner, so it’s time for us to go.”

He scowls at the nurse. “Trying to escape, are ya? Next time you come back, bring me something fried in lard. None of this food has flavor.” He pulls his walker around in front, rocking a few times in his seat, before pulling himself up to an upright position. He chuckles as Emery does the same, tottering in her boot and grabbing the front of the walker. “Looks like you need this thing more than me.” He smirks at Chris. “She get hurt chasin’ you around the bedroom?”

“All redheads. They’re all alike,” Chris laughs. “Can’t keep their hands to themselves.”

“Yep, boy, that’s right,” the old man chuckles, leading them down to the dining room before saying their goodbyes.

Emery kisses the old man on his cheek, whispering, “I’ll visit again soon.”

He pats her back, playing with the ends of her hair again. “Captain America, huh? You picked a good one, peanut. Don’t let him get away. You have pretty grandbabies to play at my feet, ya hear?”

“Yes, sir,” she smiles, holding the tears at bay.

Chris turns to salute the old man, wrapping his arm around his wife’s waist as the nurse leads Mr. Thomas to dinner.

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“Come on, Mrs. Evans. Sounds like we’re trying to make a baby again tonight. Can’t disappoint the old man,” he laughs as Emery leans on his side, walking down the stairs and out to the car. “Don’t want him thinking I’ve got faulty swimmers.”

Emery lifts her long hair off her neck allowing a cool breeze to caress her skin. “Mr. Evans, I’m feeling adventurous. Instead of driving home, let’s just drive out to the campground!”

He stops in his tracks. “We don’t have any of our stuff with us.”

“So?” She taunts. “If we go now, we can have the place to ourselves for two whole days, before the reunion. We can get some stuff at Target, necessities, and you can come back later and get the rest of our stuff while I help Mom get things unpacked before everyone else arrives.”

Chris lifts her foot and boot, swinging them around and placing them in the car before closing the door. Walking around quickly, he climbs in the hot car, and starts the air and the ignition. “Emery Thomas Evans! I can’t figure out if this is a ploy for two days of uninterrupted baby making, or another trip to Target for teacher supplies?”

“Both,” she giggles as she rolls down her window, feeling the breeze in her hair as Chris heads for the highway leading out of town.

Watching the traffic in the rearview mirror, Chris asks point blank. “Emery, who’s the ‘bloke’ from the bank?”

click here to read the next Emery&Chris story, Grease Monkey

Read more about Emery and Chris in their novella, Georgia on My Mind, and their story collections

Copyright © 2018  avenger-nerd-mom. All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom

Vacation Time

Vacation Time december 23 2017

Vacation Time

An Emery&Chris story

By avenger-nerd-mom

Chris and Emery continue their weekend getaway weekend in the secluded cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains.  A competitive game reveals a little secret, and the couple receive a holiday surprise.

Warnings: real life, fluff, language

Word Count: 2321

Images found on Pinterest. Sources unknown.

Click here for part one of this story…

December 2017

Shyly, Emery turns from the hot stove, handing her sleepy-eyed husband a plate of Southwest eggs, hashbrowns, and a steaming cup of coffee.

“Bacon will be ready in a minute,” she appeases, nibbling a bite of her toast.

“What’s all this for?” he asks.  “You don’t usually fix all my favorites at once; you always say it’s a heart attack on a plate.”  Sprinkling pepper over the whole meal, he jokes, “Are you trying to kill me?”

She giggles, carrying her plate, with the served up bacon, to the table.  “It’s an apology,” she says, tucking her leg under her bottom as she sits in the wobbly chair.  “I was kind of a  bitch the last few days.”

Chris opens his mouth to replay and promptly snaps it shut, hiding his smile behind his large hand.  He clears his throat, holding back his laughter.  “Really?  I hadn’t noticed.”

She chuckles, mixing together her scrambled eggs with the potatoes, reaching for the tabasco sauce.  “It’s my hormones.  They’re still crazy, but getting better.”

He nods, reaching over to pat her hand.  Losing their baby last spring had been difficult on both of them, in more ways than one.  They had gone to therapy together to work through their pain.  As a couple, they had decided to be more careful, to wait till there was a more definitive end in sight for studio connections related to Cap.  Chris rubs his thumb over the back of her small hand, before pulling back and picking up his fork, his mind still wandering, not really knowing what to say.  He lifts the forkful of eggs to his mouth, chewing in silence.  Leaving for ten weeks to South Africa during the summer had been trying, to say the least.  In his absence, Emery had hid her sorrows in a buckets of ice cream and fast food, eating comfort foods as she traveled and gave school trainings, gaining a little extra weight.  She hates it, but he likes the added curves.

“Hey,” he blurts out, shocking them both from their contemplative morning.  His own look of surprise makes her giggle.  “Did you pack our hiking boots?  It’s nice out.  Why don’t we take that path we looked at the other day, before it gets too cold.”

He cringes inwardly, hoping she doesn’t take it as a slam against her weight, but her face brightens.  “I love that idea, jelly bean.  They’re in the back of the truck.”

The young couple finish their breakfast, making plans to pack for the hike and the easy comfort returns between the two.

***

Carrying the firewood in, Chris laughs as she loads everything into the new pressure cooker she’s been raving about for weeks.  “Don’t let my mother see you do that; it’s not real Italian if it doesn’t simmer for hours and splatter gravy on the cabinets.”

“She gave me the recipe,” Emery laughs, sticking her tongue out at him.  “It just makes everything easier.  Why do you think I brought it along for the weekend?”

Tightening the lid, she punches a code on the space age front and reaches for two beer from the fridge.  She nods to him, “Unless you want something warm?”

He arranges the logs carefully, stoking the burning embers to rebuild the blaze.  He shakes his head.  “Nah, that’s fine.  Bring over one of the Jiffypop pans.”

Emery opens the well-stocked pantry and grabs two pans.  She stiffles a laugh and tucks something under her arm, walking over to the coffee table.  Shoving the Potter book out of the way, she sets down the beers before placing the box on the table and handing him the pans.  

“What’s that?” he asks, peeling off the cardboard label on the foiled pan.

“Scrabble.  Sexy scrabble?” She laughs, opening the box and dumping the tiles on the table, many falling to the floor.

“You mean like in that story you were reading a few months ago?”

“Yea,” she blushes.  “I thought it was funny,” Emery giggles, taking a sip from her beer and creating a pile of pillows by the couch.

He shakes his head, reaching for a pillow, and resting it against the hearth, the fire at his back.  “Can’t believe you still read that crap…” he mumbles, looking over his shoulder to the flames, jostling the popping kernels.

“Actually, those two authors are published and-”

“Dammit, I knew something was up!” He pumps his fist in the air and his face lights up.  “I remember that story.”  He pulls the handle of the pan from the fire and drops it on the stones, letting it cool.  “That was the one with Tom… That’s it, you’ve got a Hiddleston crush now, don’t you?  That’s why you were so weird when he was on set, geezus, how did I not see it?”

She purses her lips and hides her smile.  “Well, hell, the way those two women write, how could I not see him a little differently? I know, I know, it’s weird.  It’s not like a crush, more like, ‘I know I’ve met him before but how did I not realize he was attractive?’ Does that make sense?”

He sighs, counting out his tiles for the game.  “No, but I’ll take your word for it.”  Sitting across the table from her, he enjoys teasing her, likes watching the firelight flicker over her ginger hair, bringing out flecks of gold.  He knocks his foot against her calf, before picking her leg up and resting her foot in his lap, massaging the ball of her foot.  “So you aren’t going to run away from me? Leave me for Tom?”

“Oh, no!  I could never do that to Anna!  She’s the sweetest!”

“What?” he barks out, his laughter barely contained.

Her blush is as red as her hair and she drops her face into her little hands, the light bouncing off the silver wedding band and large stone.  “Shit!  That’s not what I meant and you know it-”

“Cuz, ya know Anna is really cute too and-”

“Shut up, Christopher.  That’s not what I meant at all, and you know it.” She tosses a tile at him.  “Are we gonna play the game or what?”

“You know I’m very competitive.  All right, give me the rules again.”

He reaches behind him for the popcorn, placing the inflated silver mound on the table before breaking the seal open and popped kernels spilling out onto the table.  She explains the rules as she remembers from the fan fic story she’d read and told him about, and they begin their word game, using only words related to sex acts, providing entertainment as the sun set.  The pair banter back and forth, laughing over use of slang and foreign words.

Chris looks up from his phone waving it at Emery when she sets back down from checking the dinner.

“We can eat now or la- what? Why are you waving that at me?”

“Tom thinks you’re cute too. He sends his best for Christmas in case he and Anna don’t make it back for reshoots till after the holidays.”

Her jaw hangs open momentarily and he tosses a piece of popcorn inside.  “You did not.”

He raises his eyebrow, in what should be a trademarked move.  He laughs and shrugs his shoulders.  “He happened to text just now about some studio gossip he heard, and Anna invited us for New Year’s Eve.  I may have mentioned you have a new appreciation for his ‘good looks.’  Bastard wanted to know what size Loki pajamas you would want for Christmas.” He chuckles, his eyes turning dark.  “I forbid you to wear those in our bed.”

She pushes back her hair.  “Is that a tone of jealousy I hear, Mr. Evans?  Are you worried another superhero could steal my heart?”

“He’s the villain,” he growls.

“Oh, I see… So you can look at other women, while I stand back and watch quietly while fans drape themselves all over you, but if I happen to say one of your co-stars is good looking, after all this time, you’re gonna get bent out of shape?”

“Hell, yeah, Emery, ‘cuz you’re mine.  I don’t want you thinking about any other guy, the way you think about me.  I get why you read fan fics, still.” He scoffs and rolls his eyes.  “No different if I decide to watch porn while we’re apart,” at the look on her face, he adds, “Which is rare, which is rare,” he laughs.  “But I don’t want you having sexual fantasies about my friends. Our friends.  It’s weird.”

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Rearranging her tiles, she can’t lift her eyes to his.  She says quietly, “I don’t have sexual fantasies about your friends.  Only you.”

He likes teasing her.  “Emery Thomas Evans, can you boldly tell me you didn’t marry me because I’m a Marvel man, and have famous friends.”

“Oh, yeah.  That’s not important to me.”  She lays out her next word on the board. ‘Spank.’ “I totally married you for your amazing cock.”

He coughs, holding back his laughter, watching her mouth twitch as she tries not to laugh as well.  “Is that all?  That’s the only reason?”

“Well, that and your money.  Being a poor, broke teacher was getting old… Thank god you don’t work for DC,” she throws out.

“My money? Really Miss ‘I Bought All My Christmas at Wal-Mart?’”

She slaps her thigh. “Oh!  Look who’s talking?!  You are still wearing the same Henley from 2006 and won’t wear the new ones I buy you.”

“Target. Quality stuff.  2006 was a good year,” Chris says, running his hands over the well worn fabric.  “And it’s comfortable.  The new ones are itchy and tight, and damn, Em, they just don’t make them like they used to.”

With a giggle and a smirk on her face, she rises, silently pausing the game.  She moves to the kitchen and he gets up to follow her, reaching for the plates as she opens the cook pot.  “Christopher Robert Evans, it’s not like you are eighty years old and they only made good shirts when you were young!  The new ones will stretch out if you just wear them.”  Emery rolls her eyes and serves out the pasta dish, smelling remarkably just like Mama Lisa’s kitchen.

***

Emery’s eyes flutter open when she realizes too much sunlight is pouring into the small cabin.  She blinks repeatedly trying to focus and make sense of what she sees.  Chris’s round bubble butt comes into view first.  “Evans, what the hell are you doing?” she laughs, throwing a pillow at him.

cabin chris

“Just enjoying the view.  The fresh air.”  He looks back over his shoulder with an impish grin.  “Bringing in the sun to wake you up, sleepyhead.  Come here, you’re not gonna believe this.”

Grumbling, she pulls the comforter from the bed, wrapping it around herself.  “You better close that door and bring your parts back inside.  You’re no good to me if your dick freezes and falls off.”  Her voice is tight and raspy, the cold air having taken its toll overnight. She tiptoes across the cold floor to stand behind him.  Holding tight to the corners of the blanket, she wraps her arms across his chest, cocooning them both in the warmth of the bedding.  “What time is it?” she asks sleepily.

“Vacation time.  Who gives a fuck? Anyway, we’re snowed in.”

“Hmmm…” she hums, nestling against his back.  The feel of his favorite faded flannel against her cheek is comforting and she’s so happy to be in his arms again.  “What?”  She blinks, really opening her eyes, surprised to see the truck and lane covered with snow.  He nudges her backwards and closes the door.  “Can you believe I hardly ever saw snow as a kid, and now it snows here at least once a year?  So weird.”

“Global warming,” he scoffs, spinning her around to the front of his body, laughing when she jumps back.  He pulls her close, whispering, “We get an early Christmas present.  Production is shut down for a few days.  Atlanta is at a stand still and the power is out.  It’s messing with filming.”

“Hard to look like Wakanda with snow on the ground,” she offers. “Do we have power?”

“I don’t know; I haven’t checked,” he admits. “I just woke up myself when the phone rang-”

“Were you about to… pee off the front porch?”

Laying back on the couch, he pulls her on top of him.  “Hey, we’re camping-”

“No.  No.  I don’t need to know anymore.  Thanks. God, men are so weird.” she giggles.

“So we’re stuck inside?  Might I suggest choosing another word on the board? Maybe make it a combo act?” He teases, pointing to their abandoned game.  “I think last night’s winner should choose the word.”

She slows her breathing to match his, lulling into a restful state, nestled in his arms as he combs his fingers through her hair.  “I wanna sleep more.  I never sleep well when you’re gone.  And it’s been so crazy.  But now it’s just us.  So let’s go back to bed.”

He chuckles and she vibrates against him.  “I don’t think you mean that the way I hope you mean that.”  Chris drops his head to kiss the top of her mass of wild red curls.

Emery’s fingertips graze over his chest and she delights in the goosebumps that form across the solid plane.  Her heart begins to beat faster and she pulls in all the details of the moment.  His warm skin.  The dark words etched into his flesh.  The small scar on his neck.  His freckled cheeks.  “Hey, Chris?” She lifts her head to look at him.  “This may be the best Christmas present ever.  More time with you.  Thank you.”

His lips turn into a smile.  “Mother Nature and I worked that out, together, just for you, kitten.  Merry Christmas, Emery.”

Click here for the next Emery&Chris story, Hero In-Laws

Copyright © 2017  avenger-nerd-mom. All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom