“I’m here.” Addie yelled down the hallway. “I brought food!”
“Yeah!” Emma said with a laugh. “Now I can stop thinking about all the other food we need.”
Addie set their dinner down and hugged her friend. “Stressed huh?”
“You have no idea. I’ve cooked dinner for like six people but this is insane.”
“How many are we up to?”
“There’s Brian, Leighanne and Bailey, you and Howie, AJ, Rochelle and Ava, Kevin, Kristen, Mason and Maxwell. Plus Nick and I! That’s fourteen people!”
Addie burst into laughter.
“What’s so funny?” Emma asked with her eyes flashing.
“You’re seriously screwed.”
Emma sighed and threw a handful of crunched up paper at her. “Thanks for the support.”
“You know I love you and I’ll do whatever I can to help you.”
Emma turned to face her. “So what are you cooking?”
“Absolutely nothing! I will help you clean and shop and set up but there is no freaking way that I am cooking anything. You’re Betty Crocker, not me!”
“So I take it you’re not gonna help me stuff the turkeys either are you?”
“Hell no! I am not, I repeat NOT, going to touch any bird unless it’s already been cooked.”
“Well then I am electing you to come with me tomorrow and get all the food.”
“That I can handle.” Addie handed Emma a plate of food. “When is everyone coming?”
“Tomorrow but Nick and Howie are gonna hang out with the guys at the hotel since he knows we’re gonna be busy.”
“It’s nice of them to keep the company away so you can get some work done.”
“I know but I really enjoy the guys and I can’t wait to meet Rochelle. AJ swears that we’d get along great.”
“Just remember who your BFF is lady!”
“Always.” Emma replied with a smile.
Addie cleared off a spot on the table and set her food down. “What exactly are all these lists?”
Emma blushed and tried to push them away.
“Uh-huh!” Addie said as she grabbed a handful and unfolded them. She saw lists of foods that they could serve and ones that might be best. There were also descriptions of the decorations and table settings. “You are so Type A!”
“So are you!”
“I know, that’s why we click.”
Emma threw away all the crumpled papers and sat down to eat with Addie. She was quiet for a few minutes which caused her friend to comment.
“What’s up? Did Nick do something stupid?”
“No. We talked and I’m trying to work around all my issues and his. I’m just getting nervous for Thanksgiving. Everyone will be here and what happens if they don’t like me?”
“Who’s not going to like you? Everyone likes you!”
“What if they wives don’t? What if I don’t fit in?”
Addie burst into laughter. “Then they definitely won’t get along with me. Don’t forget, we’re in this together.”
“I know but you’re so much more confident than me.”
“Is that what you really think?”
“Sometimes. It’s just that you can say whatever you want and you’re taken seriously. You didn’t start dating Howie after he broke up with someone that they were friends with. It’s almost like I’m here in Lauren’s place.”
The thought struck Addie and she realized she had never thought of that. She stepped into a relationship with someone who was completely single and didn’t have an ex-girlfriend that was friends with all the women.
“I just want them to like me.”
“I don’t mean like I can’t survive unless they love me. I just want them to look at me apart from Lauren and not as the runner up.”
“You are not the runner up and I know they’ll all like you. I don’t think Nick would stand for anything bad being said. He’s protective and honestly, I don’t see the guys’ wives doing that. They seem like great women.”
“I hope you’re right. It would suck to have them all wishing it was Lauren here and not me.”
Addie reached out and put her hand on Emma’s arm. “Don’t worry about it. You’ll be fine.”
“I hope you’re right.”
When Nick came home later that night, he found Emma in the same place at the kitchen table. She was finishing another list and didn’t hear him come up behind her. He leaned down and kissed her head, causing her to jump up.
Nick grabbed her and pulled her into a tight hug. “Sorry honey but I called your name all the way from the front door and you never answered.”
“I didn’t hear you.” Emma replied and wrapped her arms around him. “I’m glad you’re home.”
“Me too.” He leaned down and kissed her softly. “It looks like you’ve been busy.”
Nick reached out to grab a paper and Emma snatched it before he had time to look at it.
“What are you hiding?” he asked with a grin.
“Nothing.” she answered, trying to hide more papers.
Nick finally snatched up one of the lists and read through it.
“Are you gonna laugh?” Emma asked with concern.
“Why would I laugh?”
“Because it’s a stupid list.”
“Nothing that you do is stupid Em. If the lists work for you, do them. There’s nothing funny about it.”
Emma looked relieved and put the other papers back on the table. Nick draped his arm around her shoulder and kissed her forehead.
“Can I add just one thing to the list?” he asked quietly.
He took Emma’s hand and walked her down to the bedroom. “Where are we going?”
“I’m adding ‘spending the night in bed with my boyfriend’ to your list.”
Emma smiled. “I don’t think I need a list for that.”