Thanksgiving Dinner

“Lolly. We had Thanksgiving dinner with your momma, the entire DuVal clan, and the Evanses last year. This year we’re doing it with my parents, my grandparents, my sister Darcy—who just happens to be your best friend—and Lewis.”

Lolly looked up from her dinner plate and grinned at her man. “Invite them all to the Evans’s. They can handle the crowd and they’d be happy to have them. The more the merrier, you know, that sort of thing.”

Brooks cleared his throat, put down his fork and knife and surrounded his plate with his forearms. “Laura Leigh. This year we are having Thanksgiving dinner with my family.”

Lolly’s eyes went wide, realizing Brooks was putting his proverbial foot down. She gently leaned in. “Brooks,” she whispered. “We aren’t married. We don’t have to choose as a couple. You go enjoy your family and I’ll enjoy mine, and we’ll meet up after dinner. If you’d like, I’ll come over and have dessert with you and your parents.”

“What I’d like is for you to eat your entire Thanksgiving dinner with me and my family. We are always at the Evans’s.”

“Because my mom is at the Evans’s. And my brother is at the Evans’s. And our nephew is at the Evans’s.”

“So this is about the babies,” Brooks stated.

“Yes,” Lolly agreed.

Brooks leaned in closer while looking around, lowering his voice as his eyes met Lolly’s. “I have not made it a secret that I want to get you to the altar. Happy to put a baby in your belly before the ink dries on the marriage certificate.”

Lolly reared back. “I don’t want a baby of my own.”

“Now? Or ever?”

“Now,” she sputtered.

“That wasn’t said with much conviction,” Brooks pointed out. “That came out as sort of a question. Is that a question, Laura Leigh? Am I wrong to assume you want children?”

 “No. No. Of course I want children,” she whispered, worried who might be overhearing their conversation.

“With me?” Brooks asked, emphatic.

“Of course with you. Who else?”


“When what?”

“When are you planning to have children with me? You know I’m going to be turning thirty-one shortly.”

“Yes. I am aware. But since I am not turning thirty-one, nor am I anywhere close to it, I have made no definitive plans about children at this time.”

“Then let’s make some.”

“Brooks. Stop. We were discussing Thanksgiving. Not the rest of our lives.”

“Yes, but since you’re so enamored with Beau and Vance Jr. I simply thought you might like to give them a niece or nephew or cousin to play with. Whatever relation that pack of toddlers are going to be.”

Lolly giggled unable to work out the family relations either. So she simply sighed. “Brooks. I’ll be happy to have dinner with you and your family this year.”

“Thank you, darlin’. That’s all I’m asking for.” Brooks picked up his fork and knife. Then he added, “For now.”

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