It’s harvest time! The pack garden seems to have had a never-ending supply of vegetables that need to be harvested. I’m serious. I’ve been picking green beans for the last two days. Melodramatics aside. A good crop is good for our people. There are a lot of people that need us. Some of the kitchen workers are going to teach me how to can and preserve food. My mother could never be prouder.
“How are you, darling?” asked Sam, coming into the kitchen. He wrapped his arms around my waist. “Are you cooking?”
“I’m trying to,” I respond, “but you’re distracting me with your cuteness.” I rolled my eyes dramatically. “Rude.”
My cellphone started to ring. My mother’s cheery photo appeared on the screen. Why was my mother calling? What does she want? What does she want???
We were invited to family dinner. I’ve been hiding beneath my protective pile of blankets in hopes Sam wouldn’t find me so we wouldn’t have to go. Helpful hint for any humans who find themselves in a relationship with a supernatural being, NEVER PLAY HIDE AND SEEK WITH THEM. They cheat.
“Come on, Katie,” Sam playfully scolded, dragging me out from my fortress of solitude. “It’s just family dinner. There’s nothing to be scared of.”
“But it’s family dinner,” I complain. We’d had this discussion about a million and seven times since we’d gotten my mother’s invitation.
“You can’t use people as an excuse, love. You eat with more people in the packhouse all the time.”
“So…” I pouted.
“What’s really the matter?” When I refused to tell him, Sam started tickling me. I am weak to tickle torture, ask any of my siblings.
“Alright. I’ll talk. I’ll talk!” I cough.
I wasn’t scared of the general idea of a family dinner. In fact, I missed my family, well most of them. I missed most of my family. I was nervous because this was the first time, I was bringing a man home to meet my family. My family wasn’t always the most welcoming to new additions. My seven older brothers took it upon themselves to “interview” my sisters' dates. My brothers-in-law were more than happy to join in on the tradition. I’d rather die than have my twelve brothers interrogate Sam. Yes, being a werewolf, Sam was more than capable of handling them all. I would probably die of embarrassment before that happened.
My parents’ driveway and sidewalk in either direction were filled with cars when we arrived. I could hear my nieces and nephews playing in the backyard.
Sam gave my hand a squeeze. “Ready?”
I wasn’t ready but we went in anyway.
“Don’t hate me for this,” said my sister-in-law and bestie, Taya. “But are you pregnant?”
I dropped my spoon into the potato salad. “What? Huh?”
Taya pulled me around the corner out of earshot of my gossipy family. She shut the door behind us. “Okay, I only have to ask this because of how sudden your wedding to Sam was. Don’t get mad at me but when Chris got the news, he thought that the wedding might be,” she pantomimed cocking a shotgun. “You know?”
I was about ready to spout off the lie Sam and I rehearsed in the car when a thought hit me. No, it wasn’t about telling my best friend that I was the wife of a werewolf. “No… but…” Aunt Flo hadn’t come to see me in a while. She was late. Very late.
Taya’s eyes grew wide. “Ohmygosh. Ohmygosh. Ohmygosh.”
Our husbands looked at us confused as Taya and I tore out of the house with coats and purses in hand. “We forgot the shawarma. Be back soon.”
Taya drove us like a bat out of hell to the local pharmacy. She shoved the paper box into my hands and demanded me to go find out right now if she was going to an aunt or not.
So, here I am now. I’m nervously pacing the restroom waiting for a little stick of plastic to determine the next eighteen years of my life. The time on my phone went off. It was now or never. I looked at the stick. Oh, mama mia.
“Katie. Katie. Katie.” Sam had been following me around the cottage for like two hours chanting my name trying to get me to look at him. He was almost as bad as my parents’ dogs back home. I’ll admit. I haven’t been as talkative as I normally am since we got back from my parents’ house. The idea of parenthood still kind of freaked me out. What if I was no good at it? Playing with kids was easy, but I always had the out of sending them back with their parents.
“Katie!” Sam begged, picking me up and putting me in his lap. He nuzzled my neck. “Why aren’t you talking to me?” Needy baby. “I miss you. What’s wrong?”
I took a deep breath. It was now or never. “Well…” I should have gone online for some cutesy pregnancy reveal ideas. “I’m pregnant,” I mumbled.
“What?” Sam perked up. “You’re pregnant?”
“Yes… Please don’t make me say it again.”
Sam hopped to his feet and started dancing around the house, cheering that he was gonna be a dad. It was pretty stinkin’ cute.