Several days had passed since Daisy had bought the ring for Chris and every day she would look at it and wonder if she had done the right thing in buying it. She had not heard from Chris since his terse reply on their anniversary. She had heard from Scott, he had called her that night to see how she was. He had not talked to her in so long, and he wanted to know how things were. She had a feeling he knew more than he was letting on but she wasn’t going to push and ask. The bond between the brothers was tight, and she knew that Scott would not betray Chris, no matter what.
Daisy had to go back to work, and that had not been easy to do. Kimberly was more than willing to work, but she had finals and graduation and couldn’t come in this week. Daisy also knew that with Kimberly getting her degree, that she would be getting a ‘real’ job in the city, and she will lose the help she was starting to enjoy having. For the first time, Daisy was beginning to consider closing the shop. With everything that was going on with Chris, the shop was just taking too much out of her. And she hated to admit it, but maybe her mother was right; maybe she wasn’t living up to her potential. She could sell the shop, sell her house, move to a different city and go back to college.
She had dinner with her parents the night before and had told them everything that had happened. For the first time, she was honest with them about her feelings for Chris and how she was sure she had ruined quite possibly the best thing that had ever happened to her. She admitted that she loved him, and it was more than just a silly fangirl crush. She had pushed back against the marriage because was scared and she was equally terrified that he had never told his mother about her or the fact that they had gotten married. She also admitted that she was far too romantic and hated that she didn’t remember her wedding and to top it off she got married in short pink dress and not a traditional wedding gown.
Her parents listened carefully, nodding when appropriate but not making any comments. They sat side-by-side on the couch, holding hands and when they would her Daisy say something that touched their hearts, they would squeeze each other’s hand. They had both talked to Chris over the phone within the last few days, and they knew what he had planned. They knew he was still desperately in love with their daughter – the thing was, he had no idea how much she was in love with him. He had stuck by his decision to not talk to her, and they knew it was killing him. Part of the reason Chris kept calling them was so that he could ask about Daisy; he knew they wouldn’t judge him or make fun of him for asking about her. But it did put them in a very awkward position to listen to their daughter cry over this man and think he was gone forever.
~ * ~
Chris and Scott had flown home to Boston to see their mom. Lisa Evans was not expecting her boys to come home so she was a little concerned when they walked in. When her boys fly in from California, together, unannounced, well it can’t be good. She stared at them both while they dropped their bags and hugged their nephews and niece. The kids were not suspicious of their uncles coming home, they thought it was great and knew that it meant piggyback rides and lots of attention.
Chris put Stella down and walked over to his mom, kissing her on the cheek and giving her a warm embrace, “Hi, ma aren’t you glad to see me?”
“Hello, Christopher,” she said, wrapping her arms around her eldest son, “What kind of trouble are you in?”
“Oh you wound me, ma,” he pretended to sound dejected and hurt as he stepped back, “I can’t just come home to see my favorite parent?”
“You brought Scott with you, which means you need reinforcements, which tells me you have news, and you need a buffer.”
“She knows you too well, Chris,” Scott chided as he stepped up to kiss and hug his mother.
“Fine, yeah, I need to talk to you, but I don’t want to do it with the kids around,” he said looking around the room, “Is Carly home?”
“No, she and Ryan are running a few errands and will be back later.”
“Scott, would watch the kids for a little bit?” Chris asked. Honestly, he was pleading with his brother.
“Yeah, go, I got this.”
Chris and his mother walked into her office, just off the foyer of the family home, he shut the glass French doors behind him and took a deep breath. He didn’t turn around, he didn’t think he could start to tell her this if he looked at her, “Ma, I need to tell you about a relationship that I’m in.”
“You’re not turning around, Chris. This means that something is seriously wrong with this – she’s underage? Oh God, please tell me she’s legal, Chris!”
He slowly shook his head, “She’s legal ma, she’s only a year or two younger than I am.”
“Then you got her pregnant? Is that it?”
“No, at least I don’t think she’s pregnant. Fuck, I never gave that any thought and maybe I should ask because I swear we never did use protection and never gave it a second thought.”
“Christopher! Didn’t I raise you better than that?”
With those words he finally turned around and slid down the doors, coming to rest on the floor, resting his arms on his knees. “I met a woman at the LA premiere of Civil War; she won a contest that Marvel had put on. I actually sat next to her during the movie, and I knew, ma, I knew she was the one. I fell for her, just like that. She was really shy and a little nervous around all of us but at the party afterward she started to open up, of course, that was after I supplied her with some liquid courage.”
“You’re telling me you met a girl and in the process of a few hours fell head over heels in love with her? Chris, this sort of thing, doesn’t happen.”
“I know, I realize it is ridiculous sounding. She had enough to drink at the party that she wasn’t shy any longer, and she asked me to go to Disney with her the next day.”
“And we know you never turn down a Disney invite,” she said, laughing.
“I know, right? So, Scott went with us, and we had a great time, and I tried not to fall for her, but it was no use. We had dinner, and when it came time to say goodnight, I didn’t want the night to end.”
“You slept with her?”
“No, I didn’t! That’s the thing, I liked her enough that I didn’t want to ruin it, how fucked up is that?” His mother was shocked at his admission and gave him the look to indicate that she wanted him to continue. “We exchanged numbers, and we talked while I was on the press tour overseas, and then I took her to Vegas when we got back.”
“Oh no, I know where this is going now. You married her, didn’t you?” Lisa Evans vaulted out of her chair, “Damnit, Chris what in the hell were you thinking?” Her voice was raised, and he could feel the vibration of her voice through the glass that he was leaning against.
He hung his head, he knew she was angry, and he was aware that this was going to be her reaction. He didn’t say anything right away, he knew better. Let her be angry and let her work through her emotions before opening himself up to the tirade he would unleash if he spoke too soon. She began pacing back and forth behind the desk, and he knew that it would be safe to say something.
“We were the witnesses for Zach and Shannon’s wedding on that Saturday night, and evidently we got the crazy notion to do it ourselves. We ended up partying afterward and getting drunk that we didn’t remember we had done it. She left on Sunday morning, and we didn’t realize we were married until Monday; after we had gone our separate ways.” He watched for her reaction and she didn’t have one, she kept pacing and glancing over at him as if she wanted him to just keep talking.
“I know you will find this hard to believe, but I love her, and I regret none of it.”
This was when she stopped, “I take it that she does?”
Once again he hung his head, “Yeah, since she discovered we are married she has been fighting me to get divorced. She wants to get an annulment or a divorce, anything to get us out of the marriage and quick.”
“Well, at least one of you is thinking correctly! Divorce her and get it over with – has she served you with papers?”
Chris was finally at the point where he was ready to stand up and argue with his mother over this, “Yes, I have divorce papers and no, I’m not going to sign them. Are you not hearing me? I’m in love with her, this isn’t a flash in the pan or some puppy love sort of thing, I am hopelessly in love with her.”
“You have no prenup, Chris, and you didn’t marry her in a church wedding before God, get out of this marriage while you have a chance. Please tell me she isn’t going after any of your money.”
“We might not have had a big Catholic wedding, Ma but we are just as married in my heart and in the eyes of God as if we had. You aren’t going to make me change my mind about that. I said forever to her, and I meant it – I am not giving up, and I am fighting her to stay married. I know she loves me, and I am telling you I love her. She is not a gold digger, and I would not make her sign a prenup even if we were doing this all over again. She’s my wife, and I won’t let you talk about her that way. She isn’t using me for my money, she isn’t that type of girl.”
“If she loves you why does she want a divorce, at least answer me that.”
“She is scared, we happened so fast and the fact that as we were dating I never told you about her, that bothers her.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about her?”
“I was out of the country, and she was too important for me to tell you about her over the phone. And then when I saw her again after the press tour we accidently got married, and I’ve been busy trying to save the marriage so it wasn’t real convenient to get to town to tell you.”
“What is my daughter in law’s name and why isn’t she here with you?”
Chris ran his hand over his face and through his hair, the stress showing in his actions. “Her name is Daisy, Daisy Ann Proctor. She is every bit as sweet as her name sounds, and she is perfect. She isn’t here because as hard as I am fighting to save our marriage, she is fighting to end it, and I told her I don’t have any fight left; I walked out.”
“What? Wait a minute, you did what?” Lisa went back and sat down in her chair and just stared at her son in disbelief, “We are arguing over this, and you’re giving in and divorcing her anyway?”
“No, I’m not divorcing her, I’m letting her think I am so she will realize she wants me, and I can get her back.”
“You are awfully cocky, Chris.”
“Yeah, that’s what Scott said. Look, her parents and her best friends, including her divorce attorney, are on my side. They agree that we belong together, and they know she loves me and needs to get rid of the wall around her heart. I’m trying to break it down, and part of that will have to be her knowing I told you.”
“I think you are insane, and you are letting the wrong part of your anatomy dictate your actions.”
“Don’t say that, ask Scott because he can tell you what she’s like and he can tell you what I’m like around her. I’m going to get her back, and I’m going to have my happy ever after.”
“She’s not a Disney Princess, Chris. I swear to you they are not real.”
“They are mom, and she is my Princess, and I’m going to make her understand that, and she will see I’m every bit her Prince Charming, too.” He turned and walked out of her office, he was tired of arguing, and he was starting to get a headache. He walked through the living room towards the kitchen and Scott just stared at him. He recognized the look, pity – and that was the one thing he didn’t need right now.