Chapter 41: Cravings

Within twenty minutes of finding Mrs. Hanson and my grandmother in the kitchen I had offered to help them cook, but instead Mrs. Hanson sent me to the living room with a plate heaping with finger foods.

I found a seat in a relatively quiet room of the house, easing myself into the plush armchair.

I picked up a piece of cheese and nibbled at it.

Taylor came into the room and plopped next to me on the ottoman. His plate of food was heaped just like mine. He sighed. “Apparently I’m looking too skinny.” He grumbled.

I smiled.

Walker came into the room, carrying a mug. “From my wife. She insists I bring you hot cocoa, and if you need anything let us know.”

“Oh, thank you. But you really don’t have to wait on me like this…” I began.

“It’s no problem.” He answered. “Is there any kicking yet?”

“Some.”

“May I?” He asked holding out a hand.

“Yeah, of course.” I moved my plate aside so he could touch my stomach. I glanced at Taylor, who was smirking like an idiot. I narrowed my eyes at him.

I felt slightly awkward with my father-in-law’s hand on my stomach.

“Wow, you’re getting big. It must run in the family. When my wife was pregnant with Mackenzie she was huge. She must have gained like sixty pounds… of course don’t tell her I told you that.”

My eyes widened. “Stop it, you’re scaring me.”

Walker chuckled. “Sorry.” He removed his hand. “Just let us know if you need anything.”

“Thank you.” I replied.

Taylor took my mug from me and placed it on the table.

I sighed. “This is going to be fun, isn’t it?”

He laughed. “You really should eat. It might be late when we have dinner.”

I glanced down at the food on my plate. “I am hungry… but I have a craving for something…” I frowned.

“Okay, what is it? I’ll see if we have it, or I could run to the store…” He offered automatically.

I chewed my lip. “I don’t know. It’s something… but I don’t know what it is.” I frowned. “I can’t explain it. I can smell it though, and I want it.”

He frowned. “Is it something on my plate?” He held up his plate, balancing it on the arm of the chair. “You can have it.”

I pursed my lips. “I hate this. Being pregnant is weird.”

He laughed softly.

I chewed my lip and discovered what it was I wanted. I picked it up and nibbled it.

Taylor’s eyes widened. “Emma, that’s a cucumber! You hate cucumbers.”

I glanced down at the slightly green circle between my thumb and fingers. I swallowed the piece in my mouth with a frown. “Oh… but it’s what I’m craving…” I pouted.

“Well, maybe just the babies want it, you know? I know you hate cucumbers…” He frowned.

I finished the remainder of the cucumber. “Is there more?”

“Yeah.” He pointed to the small pile on his plate. “I’ll go and get you more, okay? Stay here.”

I nodded. “See if they have pickles too… and crackers.”

“Okay.” He smiled.

I finished the cucumbers on his plate with complete confusion. I couldn’t understand it. I hated cucumbers. The smell of them used to turn my stomach. But right now it was the only thing I wanted to eat.

Taylor returned with another plate, stacked with cucumber slices. My grandmother followed him. “Honey, are you okay?” She asked me. “You hate cucumbers!”

I assumed Taylor had told everyone in the kitchen about my sudden craving for the one food I really hated.

“I know, just for some reason I really, really want some right now.” I reached for the plate Taylor held out to me, picking up one of the rounds of cucumber and chewing it slowly.

“I guess that’s understandable. It’s probably just one of those crazy hormonal cravings. Mrs. Hanson was just telling me that when she was pregnant with Taylor she had a craving for peanut butter, Oreo cookies and pickles.”

I wrinkled my nose in disgust.

“You’re lucky it’s just a regular food and not something weird.” Taylor smiled.

Grandma laid her hand over my stomach. She smiled feeling the babies move.

I laughed softly. “I guess they like the cucumbers.”

Grandma smiled, letting the baby push against her hands for several moments. “I should go and help Diana. It can’t be easy cooking for all these people.”

“Let me know if I can help.”

“No, no. You just relax and put your feet up.” Grandma smiled.

I nodded, watching her leave the room.

“I’m not that big, am I? I mean, six months… I’ve still got three to go.” I pursed my lips. “I guess that means I’m going to get a lot bigger.”

“You’re still beautiful.” Taylor answered. “Don’t let it get to you. When this is over, we’ll have two, happy, healthy babies.”

I sighed softly. “Keep reminding me of that, will you?”

He chuckled, standing and pressing a kiss to my temple. “I’ll never let you forget it.”

I smiled.

“Emma!”

I glanced up to see Jessica and Avery running toward me. They were both wearing matching red and white dresses. Their hair was pulled up in sparkling ribbons.

I beamed happily. “Hi girls! Come over here and give me a great big hug, both of you!” I told them, smiling.

They came toward me quickly.
“Careful!” Taylor warned.

I hugged both girls; one in each arm, smiling hugely. “You both look adorable! You’re so pretty!”

Jessica beamed happily. “Can we paint your toenails?”

“Maybe later, girls.” Taylor said gently. “Don’t I get a hug too?”

Both girls glanced at each other, grinning slowly. They barreled toward Taylor and leapt into his arms with such force it knocked him right off the ottoman and landed on the floor.

“Oh!” I laughed.

The girls climbed over Taylor, causing him to groan, and laugh. Finally they got up, pulling him to his feet. Taylor was laughing. “Well, that was unexpected.”

I smiled. “They certainly put you in your place, didn’t they?”

Taylor laughed. “Yeah.”

The girls went running into the kitchen.

I smiled. “I want girls.” I said suddenly. “I mean, of course if we have boys I’ll be insanely happy, but… I think we should definitely have at least one girl. We can keep trying right?”

Taylor chuckled. “Absolutely. I’d like a girl too. If we have girls…” He laid his hand on my stomach. “I think we should try again for a boy.” He announced.

I laughed softly.

“What?” He asked.

“Nothing… it’s just that we don’t even have these babies yet, and we’re talking about more.” I sighed softly. “And I just… well, what if we can’t have more? I mean, the doctor didn’t think we’d have these…”

“Honey, we’ll work something out, okay? We can adopt or try any number of things.” He promised. “Try not to get too stressed over it, ok?”

I nodded. “Okay.”

I sighed. “I have to go to the bathroom. Again. Can you help me out of this chair?” I asked.

“Absolutely.” He got to his feet and pulled me to mine.

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