“So did you talk to Nick last night?” Addie asked as they entered the story.
“We always talk.” Emma said with a laugh. “Why would last night be different?”
“I was hoping you told Nick about your concerns.”
Emma shook her head. “I don’t really know how to bring it up. I don’t want to come across as insulting the wives or as being needy. I just need to deal with things. Like you said, I’m sure everyone will be great.”
“You don’t think you should mention it? Aren’t you guys supposed to be honest?”
“Yes but he doesn’t need to know this. I’m a big girl; I can take care of myself.”
“Ok snappy, it was just a suggestion.”
“Sorry if I snapped. This is just something I have to deal with myself.”
“I understand but I just thought if you mentioned it to Nick, it would put your mind at ease.”
“I don’t know. Like I said, how would I put it? ‘Hey sweetheart, do you think your brothers’ wives will hate me or wish I was your ex-girlfriend?’ I don’t think I could have the conversation without bringing Lauren up and I don’t think now is a good time to do that.”
“Maybe you could just say something like you hope they’ll like you.”
“What do I say when he asks why I think they wouldn’t?”
“Just tell him that you’re nervous because you’ve never met them.”
“But you haven’t either and you’re not asking Howie. Nick’s not stupid, he’s gonna figure out why I’m asking.”
“He’s a guy, they take forever to figure stuff out!”
Emma laughed. “I’ll think about it ok.”
“I guess I can live with that.” Addie replied and they finished their shopping. She dropped Emma off and spent half of the ride home debating whether she should let her friend figure it out or if she needed a little help. Finally making her decision, she dialed Howie’s number.
“Hi sweetie, can I talk to Nick?”
Emma was up to her elbows in stuffing when she heard her phone go off. It took her a minute to answer it and she was surprised when she heard AJ’s voice.
“I know you were expecting Blondie but I wanted to ask you a favor.”
“Is everything ok?”
“Oh yeah, nothing’s wrong. I was just kind of wondering if Ro and I could bring Ave by tonight. You won’t have to do any cooking; we can pick up food on the way.”
Emma paused for a minute and AJ jumped back into it.
“Ro just really wants to meet you and she’s afraid once everyone’s there, she won’t get the chance to talk to you.”
“Sure AJ, you guys are more than welcome.”
“Thanks Feisty, we’ll give you a couple hours and then head over. Is that ok?”
“Great, I’ll see you when we get there.”
He hung and Emma went into complete panic mode. She had so much stuff to get done and needed things to be set by the time they were there; she would have to use every second she had.
Emma was just taking the last batch of cookies out from the oven when she heard Nick’s voice coming from the front door. She whipped her apron off and straightened her shirt and hair.
“Hey beautiful.” Nick said pulling her close. “You smell good.”
“I think you smell the cookies.”
Nick leaned in and whispered something in her ear. She turned beet red and scooted around him to see AJ.
“Is he misbehaving?” AJ asked with a laugh.
“Just a little.” Emma replied as she hugged him. “It’s nice to see you again.”
AJ stepped aside and flung out his arm. “This is my beautiful wife Ro and the most amazing little girl on the planet.”
“It’s so nice to meet you Emma. AJ can’t say enough good things about you.”
The two women hugged and Emma led them all into the living room. AJ and his wife took a seat of the sofa and set Ava down in between them. Nick sunk into one of the chairs and pulled a surprised Emma onto his lap.
“Nick,” she whispered, “we have guests….”
Rochelle laughed. “Don’t worry about us. AJ does the same thing at our house.”
“See?” Nick said with a grin.
Emma still looked uncomfortable and unsure of what to do.
“Relax.” Nick whispered his lips so close to her ear that she shivered. “I promise not to start making out.”
Emma blushed and smacked Nick lightly with her hand. “You’re a brat!”
“There’s the feisty woman I know.” AJ said with a grin. “See Ro, I told you she could keep Nick in his place.”
“I have to give you credit Emma, not many women could do that.”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence, I try.”
“AJ,” Nick whined in a little kid voice, “they’re picking on me!”
“It’s about damn time!”
The two couples chatted a little longer and then AJ asked Nick if he could help him with Ava, conveniently leaving Emma and Rochelle alone to talk.
“So let’s cut to the chase.” Rochelle said as soon as the guys were gone.