Daisy had been fidgeting the entire trip; Chris had to refrain from laughing at her. She could not sit still in the car to the Orlando airport and then paced the terminal while waiting to board the plane. Good thing she was pacing, he had been recognized by several fans, and they wanted to get pictures; he, of course, obliged, but he was careful to keep his left hand shielded. He had not taken off his ring, he was not planning on taking it off either. He was going to call his agent when he got to Boston, he had been too preoccupied in Orlando to consider making the call. But he would make time in Boston; he would also need to call Meghan and let her know because he was willing to let this news get out.
He had not talked to Daisy about it yet, but he wanted to announce that he was married. It would be better to get in front of it rather than someone posting a picture or trying to drop gossip and making it worse. Besides, he wasn’t ashamed of her, and he knew she didn’t want the spotlight, but she wasn’t ashamed of him either. Yeah, these were things he needed to get taken care of and the fans in the airport just made it more of a reminder.
On the plane, Daisy couldn’t sit still either; she played with her seatbelt or her arm rest. She put her tray down and then back up and then back down. She started to read a magazine and then stopped. After a few minutes of this frenzied behavior, he reached for her hands.
“Babe, stop, you’re driving me nuts. You have nothing to be nervous about, I promise,” he grabbed her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing it gently. “She will love you, and you know Scott loves you, you are golden.”
“I have to worry about Carly and Shanna and Ryan. Let’s not forget about your dad and step-mother and their kids; crap, the list keeps getting longer. I’m not going to survive this.”
“Okay, listen, I haven’t told dad yet, and he will be easy. I know you have nothing to worry about there so don’t stress out. I was going to talk to him the other day but when everything happened, well I was more concerned with getting to see you rather than talking to him.”
“You are just so smooth, you know that, right?” She said to him, eyebrows cocked, “What am I going to do with you?”
He leaned over, put his lips to her ear and whispered, “You want to spank me when we get home?”
She smiled and then punched him in the shoulder, “No, you ass. Although, if you want to do that to me, I’m not going to stop you.”
When the plane landed at Logan, Daisy paced while they waited for their bags. The nervous energy was oozing out of her. As they walked out to go and get a rental car, they noticed Scott waiting for them. Daisy took off running to go and greet her brother in law; running into his arms and giving him a huge hug.
“Hey good looking,” he said to her as she slammed into him, “I saw that ring sparkling while you ran over here, so you are still married to that meatball, eh?”
She couldn’t wipe the grin off her face, “Yeah, I felt sorry for him. You know that he pouts, right? It is the saddest thing, he looks so pitiful you just can’t help but want to hug him.”
The two of them started to laugh hysterically while Chris stood there watching, hands on his hips, “Are you two done?”
“Oh, Mr. Serious!” Scott mocked, putting his arm around Daisy’s waist, “I do need to clear something up before we go to ma’s. When I told you to marry her ‘pronto’ and to ‘put a ring on it,’ those were figures of speech, and I didn’t think you would actually do it. But, I am glad you did because the two of you do look great together and you look very happy.”
“I’ll be happier if you take your hands off my wife, bro.”
Scott snatched his arm back and put his head down, “Sorry, didn’t mean anything by that. You do know she’s not my type, right?”
“Yeah, I know that but it doesn’t mean you won’t try to run off with her,” Chris shot back, but you could tell he was joking with his brother, and there was no animosity or ugliness with his words.
“Stop it you two! I can love you both! Now, take me home so I can make myself presentable before I meet your mother.”
Scott turned and looked at her as if she was insane, “What? You look beautiful, Chris, tell her she looks fantastic.”
“I’ve been telling her that all day, but she won’t listen to me. She thinks she needs to freshen up her makeup and change her clothes before she meets Ma.”
Scott put his hands on Daisy’s shoulders and looked her in the eyes, “My brother is not lying to you and neither am I. Ma is going to love you, and you look beautiful! You have nothing to worry about, seriously.”
Daisy took a deep breath and let it out, “Okay, if you say so. But if she hates me or makes fun of my clothes or makeup it is your fault!”
~ * ~
Daisy sat in the front seat staring out the window; she had never been to Boston before, but she was not actually paying attention to the landscape or taking in the sites. No, she was too busy in her own head worrying about what she was going to say or what might happen. While Chris was driving, he could tell that she was still worried, her fidgeting had stopped, but she was so quiet that he knew she was still nervous. He had reached over and taken her hand, holding it occasionally squeezing it for support. He didn’t know what else to do; he had his own anxiety issues, and he knew how they could take over and control everything. This was something that had taken control of her.
Luckily, Scott was dialed into it enough that he backed off from the teasing and made sure he kept the conversation casual and light on the drive out to the house. He told stories about Stella, Miles, and Ethan; the niece and nephews and their hijinks. He also told Chris about all the things that Dodger was in the process of destroying.
“Wait? What? You have a dog?” Daisy snapped her head around and looked and Chris, the shock was evident on her face.
“Oh, did I never mention that?”
“No, you did not,” she said emphatically.
“Is this going to be a problem between you two?” Scott questioned from the backseat.
“Well, it will be if there is anything else he forgets to mention. Geez, you marry a guy on a whim, and you realize you know nothing about him,” she said laughing.
It was then that Chris realized she was not mad and that she was kidding, “Yeah, I have a dog, he is a rescue, and his name is Dodger. He is actually at Ma’s house right now so you’ll get to meet him.”
“So, what happens to him when you are working on a project?”
“Well, I’ve been home since I got him, for the most part, anyway. When I have been out, Scott has watched him, but we brought him to Ma’s when we went to visit this last time. Why?”
“Well, I just think that maybe he could stay with me,” Daisy offered, “That is if Scott is not opposed.”
“No! Seems legal custody should go to the wife and not the brother, I’m good with that,” Scott chimed in from the backseat, “Of course, that is if he likes you.” There was a smirk in his voice as he said that.
The conversation had kept Daisy occupied enough that she was unaware they were preparing to pull into the driveway of the Evans family home. As the car came to a stop, Chris squeezed Daisy’s hand, “You got this, she will love you, and you have nothing to worry about. Trust me on this, okay?”
She nodded, but she was not nearly as confident as she tried to project. Her stomach was doing flips, and she was feeling nauseous, she prayed she would not get sick when she walked in the door.
Scott had been sitting directly behind Daisy, so when he got out of the car, he opened the door for her. However, he didn’t stick around to help her out. He didn’t want his brother busting his chops again for ‘touching’ his wife. Chris got out and walked around the front of the car to meet up with Daisy, take her hand and then walk her into the house. Scott had led the way, opening the door and walking in first; this got everyone excited that Chris was home, and they were clamoring for the door.
Chris walked in first, Daisy a step behind him with her head down, too nervous to look up. When he saw the swarm of his family descending upon them, he gave them a look that begged them to back off. They took the hint and began to scatter. As Dasiy fully stepped into the foyer, she looked up and tried to remain calm, there were so many sets of eyes looking at her. There was, however, one warm smiling face and that was Lisa Evans. Daisy recognized her immediately, and suddenly her fear and doubt went away; the woman did not look menacing and scary at all, she had soft eyes and stepped forward with her arms outstretched and gave her a hug.
“Daisy, it is so nice to finally meet you,” she spoke softly and sweetly, and she embraced her, “I’ve heard such wonderful things about you.”
“It is nice to meet you as well, I am sorry we couldn’t arrange for this sooner, I guess that’s my fault,” Daisy hung her head as she backed away from the embrace.
“Oh don’t be silly, running a business and dealing with this guy can be a little hectic,” she said pointing to her son. She knew the background, and she did not want to make the situation any worse between Daisy and Chris, it was shaky ground with these two and Lisa wanted to tread carefully. “So, let me apologize for the audience, everyone is excited to meet the new lady in Chris’ life.”
Daisy offered up a little wave, and Chris stepped in to make the introductions. Once made, he suggested that they go sit down in the family room to at least get comfortable so they could get acquainted. The kids were excited to see Uncle Chris so they wanted to ‘fight’ for a spot on his lap; Miles won that battle. Daisy had to admit that it was sweet to see Chris on the couch with his nephew all curled up in his lap, Miles had his head on Chris’ chest, and he was content to just sit there.
Stella did not want Daisy to feel left out, and she promptly decided to crawl up on her lap and snuggle up; since Daisy was sitting next to Chris, it allowed for the next closest spot to Uncle Chris. As Daisy and Chris admired the cuteness on each other’s lap, Carly and Ryan could not help notice it either.
Ryan leaned over to Carly and whispered, “So, how long before they have their own?”
“When did they hook up? A month ago? I say in 8 months,” Carly said with a snicker.
Scott came over and stuck his head in between the two of them, “You want to start a pool on how quick they have kids of their own?”
Ryan let out a laugh that made Daisy and Chris look up and over at them. He turned to Scott, keeping his voice low, and said, “We just said the same thing. Pretty sure they have a jump on that already.”
~ * ~
Lisa Evans had stayed in the kitchen while everyone got settled in the family room. She was making coffee and tea and declined assistance from Daisy when it was offered – no, she wanted to observe instead, see how Chris and Daisy interacted with one another. Chris had professed his love for her, and Scott had confirmed they were perfect for one another, but she needed to see it for herself to believe it.
When Chris walked with her into the room, he had his hand on her back. He had to touch her, not pawing all over her or being anything other than sweet and attentive. He didn’t sit down until after she did and made sure she was comfortable. When the kids began to climb all over them, he warned them to be careful, and that Daisy wasn’t used to having kids crawl all over her and for them to go easy on her. He would whisper in her ear or kiss her softly, and she would smile at him and kiss him back.
It was only when Chris moved to put his hand around her shoulder that the ring on his finger caught her attention, she had not noticed it before. Now it was real, and now she had to admit to herself that it stung that she wasn’t there to see her oldest son get married. Of course, she wasn’t going to bring that up because she didn’t want to cause any friction while they were here. No, this was an opportunity to get to know Daisy and welcome her to the family. Make the best of the situation and give her blessing to the situation so that she did not lose the thing that mattered the most – Chris.
She watched as the kids crawled on their laps and how natural they both looked with them snuggled up to them. Daisy held Stella tight and rocked her gently; she obviously had a way with children, and she prayed the two of them worked out their issues and gave her more grandchildren. Chris would be a wonderful father, and he wanted kids so badly; she could see Ryan and Carly looking at Chris and Daisy and could only imagine that they were making comments on the same subject.
She figured it was best that she go on in and take the coffee and tea and start the conversation…see where this was going to go!
~ * ~
Lisa set the tray down on the coffee table in the center of the family room. She glanced over and noticed that Miles had fallen asleep in Chris’ lap, and Daisy was holding a sleeping Stella. “So, I guess coffee or tea is out of the question for each of you?”
“Yeah, sorry, Ma. Not sure I could hold a cup with this little guy on my lap.”
“I have to admit, I was a little surprised when you called and said you were coming home from Orlando so soon. Normally we have to drag you away from Disney.”
Daisy shifted on the couch a little, “Well, I’m afraid it is my fault that we left early, I was a little excited and wanted to leave, and he didn’t really have a choice.”
Ryan looked over at Carly with a big grin, “See, told ya!”
Chris gave them a funny look, “Told ya what?”
“Oh nothing, please continue,” Carly said with a laugh, completely confident they were going to announce they were pregnant. Of course, Carly wasn’t aware that there had been trouble in paradise for the two of them. In reality, they didn’t even know they were already married, they just thought this was the girl he was dating.
“So, Ma,” Chris started to say, “Remember I told you that Daisy and I were working on a few things, and we were going to use this trip to reconnect?” Lisa nodded her head, knowing what her son was saying was, in fact, true. “Daisy and I have worked everything out, and she had agreed to marry me again, this time though we will have a proper wedding in front of our family and friends.”
“Wait? What? When did you get married the first time?” Carly screamed, then quickly put her hands over her mouth to quiet herself in the hopes that she didn’t wake the kids.
“We eloped in Vegas after the press tour,” Daisy murmured in response to Carly’s question, “It sort of just happened.”
“Yeah, and we’ve spent the last few weeks fighting about it, and she’s been trying to divorce me,” Chris announced.
“And now you aren’t divorcing, that is great news!” Scott chimed in.
Daisy’s smile could have lit up the room, “He got on one knee and proposed and it was so romantic – there was no way I was going to refuse to marry him. I was so excited that we were going to do this that I wanted to hurry and tell everyone.”
“But you’re already married, right?” Ryan asked, somewhat confused.
“Yeah, we are, but we didn’t do it with family, and that is when you make a memory. I want my Princess to have her fairytale wedding, and that’s what she is going to get. Now we have to plan it!”