Seeing the emotional reunion made something in Raven ache and she leaned more on Starr as she watched Russell slip past them to go to stand near his father. 

“We’ll come back, we’ll give you time with mamawolf.” Raven smiled at Eva as she gave Starr a warning that she was about to shadow them.

“No, baby, you can stay. You and Starrfire’ve been part of our lives and part of all of this, too. At least come and sit with us in the kitchen for a while. I already have the kettle on and Devon always has some coffee or whiskey for anyone who wants it.” Eva  reached down and helped tug Evan up as best she could. He, of course, humored her and rose when she did.

“It’s up to you,” Starrfire asked his Chosen. She wanted to talk to him, but at the same time, Russell’s parents were like fam. Starrfire also knew there was some tension between the two brothers, but surely that wouldn’t continue with Eva now here?

Russell glanced Starr and Raven’s way before moving to help his mama in the kitchen. It was his way of telling all of them that he was giving Raven her time to do as she would. He doubted that she would decide anything tonight anyway, but he knew she wanted to talk to Evan more at least. ~ It’s cool I’m gonna help mama, ya’ll chill and hang out some I won’t start anything I swear. ~ He gave that toothy grin and even winked at Raven as he turned to pull something down that his mama wanted from a shelf.

Evan walked with his mama, placing her hand over his arm in gentlemanly fashion to lead her to the kitchen behind Russell. He nodded a bow to their father as he walked her by him. He wasn’t disrespecting Devon, he was enjoying being part of the family he never had.

Hearing from both of her guys, Raven looked up at Starr and smiled as she relaxed a little.

“I guess we can stay for a little while and visit.” She took the lead this time and led Starr to one of the large chairs. When he sat down she took her seat in his lap. Above all else, the one thing she wanted perfectly clear was that Starr was her number 1. He was her Chosen and would never lose his place with her. And so she even showed that in her actions around Evan. 

Starrfire just instinctively nuzzled his love and purred for her against her ear and behind her ear. They had always shown affection to one another and never had nor would apologize to anyone for it. She was his everything. And when it came to Russ and whatever this was with Evan… he would abide what she desired. Russ would always remain his kindred, for they were best friends. But beyond that?   

“Have a seat and tell us about yourself Evan,” Devon encouraged. 

“Yeah, I only bite certain people so you’re safe.” Raven’s smile was bright as she slid an arm around her Starr’s neck and played with his hair at the back. Crossing her denim clad legs she kicked off her boots knowing mamawolf would expect no less. Her toenails were far different then what most would expect with the glittery bright pink nail polish. She had her prissy girly moments, it was just that few were able allowed to see them.

Devon noted how vocal Raven was being. She … was she interested in Evan? Had he made a mistake in sending her to go fetch their boy?

Eva ignored the girl. She was curious as well. She motioned for Evan to take a seat wherever he wanted. She was behind the large counter-like island waiting for the kettle to let her know it was ready. She wanted to take it off the burner before it whistled. She didn’t want to wake the pups. Russ was getting other things out and making them. Food… she knew that was coming. Her fridge was always stocked and her kids were always hungry.

Evan sat at the table end and licked his lips. Where to start?

“I own a bar,” he said, but then shrugged. “Or, well… I did own a bar. As of tonight, I’ll be shifting everything again. If you guys can find me, the Coven won’t be far behind me. My manager wanted to buy it, so I’ll do that for him.”

“You were with that Coven, but are ya still involved with em?” Russell asked as he removed strip steaks from the fridge. He pulled out an onion to dice up and add to the skillet. “I know you still have dealin’s with em. Question is why?”

“Well, my association with Eriksson is complicated. Because of Becca, I’ve tried to stay on the peripheral so I could make sure her life was as good as it could be. But I do my best to keep them from knowing what I’m doing and where I am. Just in case I decide to have more of a life than I’ve made for myself.”

“We know that our sister is still out there and not dead.” Russell diced up the steak and started the flame beneath to listen to the sizzle. “She ain’t with em either.” His bright blue gaze cut over to Evan as he licked the flavors from his fingers.

“That happened a few months ago. They culled again. Something went wrong. I have contacts that told me Becca shifted. They didn’t know how to handle her. She would’ve been… lost. Gal always took more after…” Evan had been looking at the table, and this his eyes went to Devon and Eva. “…well, ya know what I mean. I bet it was her first ever shift. They never expected it and it started a chain reaction and a bunch of lycan and guardians got away that day. My contacts would’ve told me if she was killed. I’ve been looking at every clinic around the area this happened. Nothing so far.”

“Then that’s a good thing.” Devon rumbled as he moved to nuzzle his mate before taking a seat at the table and giving a low rumble of summons to his pups to join him.

“She’d like you.” Evan looked to Russ then. “She’s not overly bold, herself, but she appreciates people who are honest and straightforward.”

“Bet I’ll like her too.” Russ gave a wolfish grin.

Raven watched the brothers and couldn’t help but imagine what it’d be like to have them both. Her nose crinkled at the kinky thought and felt the nudge from her kindragon, ~What? It was just a thought.~ She giggled softly and played her fingers across his ear and down the side of his neck as she looked from Starr to Evan, “And what will you do once you sell your bar?”

The giggle caught Evan’s attention. When she asked the question, he wasn’t sure how to answer. “Keep looking?” His eyes narrowed a bit as he gave her a confused expression.

“I mean what are you interested in doing with life? At least this portion of it?” She couldn’t stop herself from watching him even when she tried hard not to.

“Other than make sure my little brother and sister are okay?” he shrugged. “I’ve been a lot of things. I’ve got savings here and there. I guess begin a new chapter of the Who is Evan LaCroix book. Hope someone comes along that doesn’t mind… what I am.” His smirk was sincere and crooked.  

Raven purred when she returned Evan’s grin only to catch Eva watching her. ~ Uhoh don’t be surprised if mama wolf takes me off for a for a heart to heart. She doesn’t seem pleased.~

~ Then you shouldn’t have pushed. This isn’t about you, remember? ~ Starr’s little comment was meant to smack her hands for her zealousness. but it looked like he was too late.

“Raven, want to come upstairs with me? I’d like to show off the nursery and talk about the shower.”  Eva got up from her chair without waiting on Devon, which told her mate she was not in the mood right now for niceties.  

“Of course mama wolf.” Raven smiled for Eva just as she always did and exchanged looks with Starrfire. ~ Told ya so. ~ it wasn’t the first time Eva had been displeased with her and it definitely wouldn’t be the last time.

~ Good Luck. Why you gotta be such a pervert all the time? See what it causes? ~ Starr poked his Chosen with a chuckle under his breath. He helped Raven up and watched the ladies leave the room.

“To be a fly on that wall,” Starr whispered, his wicked eyes looking from Russ to Devon before traveling to Evan.

“Did…did I miss something?” Evan asked.

“Apparently,” Starrfire chuckled.

Devon watched the ladies disappear from sight and shook his head slowly as he got up to bring the tea to the table for them to enjoy while Russ cooked and they waited on the women.

“Reminds me of the time she decided to explain the birds and the bees to Terrance and Ryker a few years back just after the boys started school.” There was a low chuckle as the big Alpha took his seat again across from Evan. “Ya mama is bein’ protective and before ya think to talk her out of it, know that it won’t do any good.”

“Protective of me?” Evan straightened in his seat and looked around at them. Starr was nodding to him. He’d already seen this and Eva had taken him aside before. “I can take care of myself.”

“Yeah, but mama wolf is of a different mindset. I love her for it. She’s helped me understand things before that I didn’t pick up on. I might not have taken her advice on everything, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t good advice,” Starr grinned, his eyes looking over at Devon.

“See Raven’s prowlin’ around with ya brother there.” Devon waved his tea spoon in Russ’ direction and went on, “And now she’s flirtin’ with ya in front of him and Starrfire, her Chosen kindragon. In ya mama’s eyes that’s bein’ disrespectful to ya brother and her mate.” He added just a little more sugar while Eva wasn’t there to scold him and stirred it up well before drinking half the glass down.

There was a scoff of sound from Russell as he cooked the strip steaks and onion in the skillet.

“We’re just havin’ fun together and we ain’t ever alone in that fun. Not like I’m a saint or even close to settlin’ down so might as well enjoy myself and help others have fun too, right Starr?” Russ went to the fridge and grabbed three beers, one for Starr which he tossed the dragon’s way, one for Evan which he held up in offering and then one for himself. Popping the cap he took a good drink and nodded towards his best friend.

Evan reached out for the beer while Starr was opening his.  He just listened for now.

“Fun is where it’s at right now.” Starrfire wouldn’t say a thing to lead either of them one way or another, but he was taking the words and the actions to heart. If this is how Russell felt, Raven would know. His firecracker was up for fun, sure… but he also knew another side to Raven. If Russ didn’t want to have anything but fun, he’d wind up left behind. Starr didn’t regret the fun he and Russ had enjoyed with his Chosen this past year. He didn’t regret bonding lightly with Russ so that they could help each other out, either. They had a trust that would never be broken between them, no matter what happened. You couldn’t put a price on that. But, he saw and he felt and he understood things beyond what his lycan friend did. He toasted them with his beer before drinking.

“Fun is..fun. But fun only lasts until the heart opens up to other, bigger possibilities.” Evan took a drink and hadn’t been looking at any one of them when he had said what he said. It was something spoken from the heart and from his own faith.

Listening to what Starr and Evan said had the elder nodding his head in agreement. It was good that they understood or at least somewhat understood what was going on. His golden gaze moved to his pup at the stove and he wished he could say the same for him. Russell was wild and had always been their unpredictable one. He had a dark side and though it wasn’t showing through yet, it was very much there. This was the reason that Eva was upstairs talking to Raven. She wanted Evan safe and right now Russell saw Raven as his just as much as Starr did. If Evan ruined that before Russ was ready to let go then it could be very dangerous. Disrespecting them as she was, it wasn’t healthy for any of them.

“The ladies will talk and they’ll be back to join us again. For now though Russell, finish the grub so we can eat while we talk.” Devon grinned at their eldest where he sat across from him. “Think ya gonna stick around here for a bit? If so, we can set ya up in one of the cabins here. It’d give ya some time to get to know all of us and trust me there are a lot of us to know.”

“I wouldn’t mind that. After tomorrow, I pretty much’ll only have my boat. I have some docks picked out here and there that I can leave it. I’d just have to get some things from it and back at the bar. I don’t need a lot of space.” Evan was a simple kind of man when it came to such things. He sat back when Russ put a plate in front of him. “Damn, maybe you should be a chef.” His nose moved up as he truly enjoyed the aromas.

That got a laugh out of Russell, “Mama made sure we can all cook so give her the credit when she gets back.” He wasn’t sure whether he liked Evan or not yet.

Once he had brought the food to the table, Russell became very focused on his meal. He tuned most of them out as he filled his plate and started to eat. The light on his watch blinked three times and Russ rumbled as he took one more bite before rising to his feet to finish his beer on the way to put his plate away.

“You’re already leaving?” Starrfire asked.

“Duty calls.” It was his sign that he had a job awaiting him. Tossing the bottle away after setting his plate on the counter, Russ washed his hands and started for the door. “ Tell mama I’ll come around when I get back. Starr tell Rave I see ya’ll when I’m done. Pizza?” He gave a toothy grin.

“I’ll let you know. Stay alive. You know how to get me.” Starr knew Russ was living the life of a Tasker, and he knew the pitfalls of that. He’d chosen to stay away from that life. He knew other dragons, including his drakkar, had made out well by working for the very group that wanted them dead. But Starrfire had no desire to walk that blade.

“Always brother.” Russ grabbed his jacket and left without anything more said. His family was used to this as it was nothing new.

“Change is the spice of life, right? Somebody said that, didn’t they?” Starr looked between Evan and Devon. “I’m not dreaming, right? That’s a quote from somebody important and smart, right?” He took another couple of bites to maybe shove stuff in his mouth before he said too much.  

“Ahh, man, that was deep and then you had to go and ruin it.” Evan chuckled before eating some more of Russell’s good cooking.

“Yeah, I mean, unless it’s set to a good rhythm, I tend to do that. Sorry.” the dragon chuckled.

“So, you’re a musician?” Evan asked.

“Yeah. I’m a drummer and a songwriter and Rave’s a singer. It gets us by and keeps us going.”

“And Russ? My other brothers and… were there sisters?” Evan asked Devon. He kind of wanted the run-down so he could begin memorizing.  

“Russ works for Crimson doin’ things for his Tasker mentor. He’s workin’ his ways towards bein’ a Tasker himself. There are two others with him, Clint is eldest of the three and he bartends at Dante’s night club, Ryan is in college, then ya have Terrance and Ryker who are twins. They are stayin’ at friends tonight, but ya gonna get to meet em at breakfast in the mornin’. Trust me they never miss mama’s cookin’.” Devon chuckled and drank more of his tea before continuing, “Then the younger ones Aaron and Michael are upstairs sleepin’, they just started school and are handfuls to ya mama, especially Michael. Of course ya mama is carryin’ the next set of em so we’ll have to wait.”

“And what’s your relationship to everybody?” Evan asked Starr.

“Oh, well…” He looked to Devon and then back to Evan. “I’m not, you know… related. But I guess I just…” Starrfire shrugged. “Devon and my drakkar are brothers by choice. He and Eva are also friends with my drakka, so, I kind of grew up in and out of the pack when we weren’t on the road.” He always had trouble explaining things like this. And he didn’t like saying things like, his dad was an absentee dad or some crap like that. No matter how true it was.  

“We count Starrfire and Raven as part of the family. Eva and I had a big part in raisin’ em I guess you’d say, and we were a real big reason they met.” Devon chuckled and winked at Starr, “We tend to get on to ‘em just like our pups and they tend to come to us for advice just like em.” The big lycan grinned, “They’re great with the lil ones too.”

He smiled at Devon, a thank you in his eyes for the help. “But, I’ve totally been the go-to babysitter here. Even taught a couple of ‘em how to make music.”

“True enough, he never says no to round of sitting with the lil pups.” The father of seven was greatly appreciative of that too.

~ Then you want children. ~ Evan decided to try mental speak with Starrfire just to see what happened.  

************

Once they were alone in the nursery Raven leaned against the wall and tucked her hands in her front pockets, “Alright, let’s hear it.” She wouldn’t deny Eva this moment because the woman had never gotten to have one with Evan and she was willing to bite back and hear her to the end.

Eva walked over to the crib that Devon had already rebuilt for their up and coming babies. She looked over into it and she realized things were hitting her hard for the first time in a very long while. She put her arms folded on the upper railing and leaned her head down a bit before letting the first wave of a sob escape. She was fairly certain that Raven wouldn’t be expecting this at all and she was considering apologizing for it.  But right at that moment, she couldn’t speak past the lump in her throat.

“Hey, wait what’s all this about?” Raven moved to Eva and rubbed her back. If the woman had snarled at her, she’d have known what to do, but break down and cry.. Yeah she wasn’t sure to handle it. “Eva, you have him back and you are up here crying? Shouldn’t you… I don’t know.. Maybe be smothering him with hugs and food?”

“Maybe. I’m getting hit hard by my hormones being out of the norm. It doesn’t help that … that the Goddess sees fit to let me know things that maybe I don’t like. She has her reasons, though. She has her reasons.” She’d let Raven read into that whatever the girl wanted. Eva sucked in a breath and grabbed the rail with her hands so she could stretch while Raven rubbed her back. “Thank you. That feels better.”

“You’re welcome mama wolf anytime.” Raven kept the smile on her face regardless of the remark about the Godess hitting deep.

“Now, do I have to tell you what kind of dangerous game you’re playing or are you deciding to live life on the edge more and more?” Eva asked turning her head to the side so that the curtain of reddish auburn locks would fall away from her face and she could see Raven better. The girl was taller than her, but she was the elder and as far as she knew, had the young one’s respect at least.

“I’m not playing a game Eva, I’m teasing and I’m flirting. Things I’m sure you did when you were younger. Is that so bad?”

“Oh, yes. I played such many a time. And once or twice I paid a higher price than I want any of you to pay.” Like it had been said, it was all fun and games until somebody got hurt. “Please, just promise me one thing?” Eva asked as she straightened up and arched her back to pop it, her belly poking out up front enough to touch the side of the crib.

A dark brow was arched as she watched the female Alpha and waited for the rest to spill forth.

“Don’t turn the brothers against one another. They’re not allotted much time together as it is. Having them upset with one another on top of that? It might break my heart.” Eva knew Raven would take her words as meaning schedules and lives didn’t mesh well for spending time together. The mama wolf would leave it at that. After all, it was true. Once her pups reached adulthood, they were pretty much learning their own trades and jumping right into it. They came back home for family events, pack needs, and for ceremonies, but otherwise they led their own independent lives.  She wouldn’t want to take that from them, but it left short periods of time to actually be brothers. And Evan had been cheated of growing up with the others, so that made his time as a brother even more important.

With a soft sigh Raven ran her hand through her hair and tossed it to one side showing the more vibrant pink streaks as she watched the Pack mother. “I wouldn’t do that Eva.. I tease, I flirt but I’d never do that. And if it looks like it’s going that way I’ll walk away from both of them.”

“Thank you. I love you, you know that, don’t you?” Eva reached up and fixed a strand of hair behind Raven’s ear. “You’ve been part of the family since you and Starrfire were raggedy little things trying to figure out life. When I was your age, I never would’ve thought to have a dragon and a vampire among my family, but you two just weaseled your way in.” Eva giggled and wiped away her tears again. “Damn, these hormones…”

She was pretty sure that when Starr was younger he never thought he’d have one like her as a kindred either. “I bet they are girls, because you weren’t this emotional with either set of twins.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Eva whispered.

Raven held her hand out to take Eva’s, “Now let’s go back down and enjoy time with the guys while they shovel food into their faces.” The walked further back downstairs and overheard the conversation. 

“Of course I want children, that’s a dumb question…” Starrfire suddenly glared at Evan.

Devon was a bit lost. He looked up from eating. Evan hadn’t asked the question out-loud. The Alpha looked toward his eldest, now. “That was out of bounds and rude.”

Slowing down on the stairs Raven lost the smile for just a moment before feeling Eva watching her and she put the smile back on her face again. She started down again without saying anything or giving Eva a chance to speak. While Eva was feeling emotional, Raven didn’t want to discuss her feelings right then.

“Hey guys, we’re back!” She became bubbly and playful all over again as she moved back to her kindragon and sat on the arm instead of in his lap. “Time to drink?” She slid her arm behind Starrfire’s neck and got comfortable this way so he could drink his beer.

Starrfire’s glare smoldered as he shoved the beer bottle in his mouth to keep himself from cussing Evan out in front of his happy mother and father.

“Sorry, sometimes I uh.. forget,” Evan smirked as he brought the bottle to his mouth. He took a swallow, too while continuing a mental conversation. ~ I guess I don’t have to tell you the problem with that idea, considering the other one you’ve got involved. ~  

In this moment, Devon could see the happy-go-lucky young dragon he knew become much more like his Drakkar. The expression was patently Senias, the knitting of the reddish brows down to the way he withdrew the beer bottle from his mouth and swiped his lips slowly with the side of his thumb. There was definitely a conversation happening and the dragon wasn’t liking it.  If it continued, things might become more than they were. But he’d given warning. 

Eva could feel the tension. She was surprised Devon hadn’t already brought out a knife for cutting it.  

“Raven is planning to throw me my shower for the new pups. I know it’s tradition for the elders to do so, but I wanted something different this time. I hope you don’t mind,” she sat at her tea and took a sip, her little nose curling a bit at the fact that it had cooled off.  

Taking note of the change in the mood between the other two males, Devon finished off his tea and smiled for his mate, “That sounds real nice love and I’m sure the elders will understand.”

“Be careful, you might end up with some black and pink style stuff all over the place, mama wolf,” Starr tried to pull himself from the conversation, but it wasn’t working well. ~It’s none of your business, is it? ~

~Yet, ~ Evan replied before finishing his beer and setting the bottle on the table.

The low growl couldn’t be helped.

Refilling it Devon rumbled, “Alright, enough of that. It’s rude to carry on mind speak in a house full of those that don’t use it. If ya got somethin’ to say come out and say it.”

Raven felt the tension and slid down into Starr’s lap. Her hands smoothed along his jaw as she leaned into him to rest her head on his shoulder, “Maybe it’s time for us to head off and give all of you time together without distraction.” Her entire focus right then was Starr out of concern at the sudden change in mood. ~ What’s going on babe? ~

Starrfire lifted Raven in his arms and settled her on her feet next to him. Evan rose as well, just what he did when the lady he was focused on got up.

“I think you’re right, babe. I think we should leave.” Starr looked over the table at Devon and Eva to apologize “I’m sorry we can’t stay longer. I’m getting tired and my mood gets sour when that happens,” he didn’t like making excuses, but he felt like if Evan said much else to him, he might…

“Truth hurt?” Evan said out loud.

The swing was quicker than Evan figured it would be. He felt the impact, that was for sure. So the dragon did have some fight in him? Impressive. He found his back hitting the wall behind him and some pain in not just his jaw, but his shoulder from hitting the shelf behind him so hard.

Eva  found herself behind her mate before she could get a full squeak out of her mouth…

On instinct Devon went into full protective mode and he was up and in front of his mate before anything else could happen. “Starrfire!” He rumbled low in warning to the two men. He knew the dragon  wouldn’t do much more in this house, but honestly he was not sure what more Evan would do.

“You have no idea what you’re talking about. So, I suggest you not talk about it.” Starrfire’s eyes shimmered and glowed green, the  draconic slit there, telling them he had come to the end of his patience.

“Yeah, you got it,” Evan wiped the blood from his lip. That had been a surprise. He had to give it to the drake, he was very patient.

“You two done? Or is there more we should settle away from my house and my pregnant mate.” Devon looked from Evan to Starrfire.

Raven was pressed against Starr’s chest while staring wide eyed at Evan. What the hell was he thinking egging her kindragon on like this?  “Starr.. babe…” She tried to soothe him as best she could and ease the moment. Last thing they needed was for him to lose control.

“Okay, ok… I’m sorry. This should be a happy time. I know the way out.” Starrfire took Raven under his arm and turned the both of them away from the kitchen, toward the door.  

As Starrfire and Raven left the cabin things remained odd inside. Devon watched the couple depart and looked at Evan, “Mind tellin’ us what that was all about son?”

“He’s in denial about the situation he’s in. He didn’t like me telling him the truth.” Eva handed Evan a towel for the blood. He was already healed so there was no concern.

“Was it your place? You just met.”

“Yes, it was my place.” Evan seemed resolute. But then, his shoulders sagged just a bit. “I…” he huffed and flumped down in his seat, the thing creaked under him.

“What truths?” Eva asked. But all she got was silence. Her eyes moved to Devon again.  “Your father deserves an explanation and so do I. Our home is open to all those we call friend and family. From what I just saw, you made 2 of those cared for people so uncomfortable that one swung on you, and I’ve never seen that boy take a swing. Then, instead of talking, they left.”

“They need to talk to each other,” he whispered. He didn’t want to tell his mama what had been said. He felt bad about it, but at the same time, he felt justified. Raven made him feel something he’d never felt. If exploring that meant making her and her chosen face uncomfortable truths. Well, so be it.

“You sent Raven to get me because she’s like me. Then you bring me back to meet her family and extended family, which includes two Taskers and two Councilors. This is about Eriksson. But nobody’s saying that.”

“Ya mama asked for an answer and ya change the subject. I’ll say it, this is about the Eriksson Coven. Now tell us what else all that was about.” Devon was calm but serious as he helped his mate to further things along a little more.”

“I’m not trying to change the subject. This IS the subject, Devon…”  he wasn’t comfortable calling him whatever other than the man’s name yet.  “When this is over with Coven Eriksson, and I hope it will he soon, I want to stop running. I’ve been running since I was 15. I’ve been making it on my own, coming back to pretend to help so I could keep in good with Coveners so my brother and my sister could be well cared for.  I got Azer out for a while, until he did something stupid and got found again. I couldn’t find the right time for Becca, but I’m hoping someone did or she did. And all this time, I’ve survived by running. I do everything in cash, off the grid, and I keep one step ahead of them. They may think they know about me, but they don’t.”

“Evan…”

“That’s not the life I want anymore. It’s the life Russell wants.” Evan looked between the two of them. “He can have it. But I want to have a mate and kids. I want that life. So does your dragon-pup. He just needed me to nudge him into admitting it. And he needs to understand that Russ doesn’t want that life that we do.  Question is, does Raven want it?”

That got a raised brow from the Alpha male. “And this is important? If so why?”

“Of course that’s important. We had a connection as soon as we spoke to one another. I’m not going to just ignore that. Would you?”

“No, but I’d choose my timing for such announcements and it damned sure wouldn’t have been at my welcome home.” Devon rumbled as he moved to rinse his dishes along with the others. “Timin’ son, ya need to learn timin’. I get that ya want family and ya got that so slow down in wantin’ to add to those number too soon.”

Eva sat down and just listened to the both of them. Her tea wasn’t helping this time. She was aching and now she had this problem to deal with. She was so happy to have Evan back, but what was he stepping into?

“I’m not saying I want kids right now,” Evan walked over with some of the dishes to place them in the sink for Devon and when his mama turned around to look at him, he decided to stay there and lean back against the big counter. He was as tall as Devon. She smiled. His voice was calm and quiet. “What I’m saying is…” he took a bit of a huff breath and tried to explain. “I’m saying I want to know where everybody stands. Russ made his place very clear, and I don’t hold it against him. I know a lot of people like that. But I know what I want in the future sometime, and now I know Starrfire wants the same and had to admit he understood where Russ stands. I just wonder where Raven stands. Regardless of my involvement, they needed to talk about this stuff, don’t you think?” he looked between them both. “And if she doesn’t want the same thing as me, at least I didn’t get attached. And if Starr finds out she doesn’t want the same thing as him, well… guess what happens next with them is their business.”

Eva looked up at Devon.

“Regardless how ya feel, it wasn’t ya place to force that particular conversation. It woulda happened eventually without ya buttin’ in to their relationship. Ya just met em, at least ya could a got to know em first.” Devon wasn’t pleased with the actions of their eldest.

“Sorry,” he just… Raven had been forward with him, so, he had been with Starrfire in turn.

“Now that mess aside ya mama made up one of the rooms here for company. Ya can use it until we fix ya cabin up if that suits ya. We’ll go get ya things and see to ya boat tomorrow alright?” Devon finished the last dish, dried his hands and pat Evan’s shoulder before squeezing it in support.

“Thank you, sir.” Evan sighed and stepping to his mother, he hugged her again and whispered “sorry,” before following Devon to his temporary room.

 

~  Rachel Diane Adams and Dawn McClellan © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019